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Laura Friedman takes early lead in race for Schiff’s former House seat

As the first votes began to be counted Tuesday night, Rep. Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) was in the race for the coveted Los Angeles-area House seat to replace retiring Rep. Adam B. Schiff. He took a clear lead early on.

As of 2 a.m. Wednesday, when the latest results were shared by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's Office, Friedman still held a strong lead. In second place was Republican intensive care physician Alex Balekian.

Third place went to state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-Burbank), a former Los Angeles city councilman. Mike Feuer, also a Democrat, came in fourth place, just behind Portantino. The county is scheduled to announce its next vote count Wednesday between 4 and 5 p.m.

The top two candidates, regardless of party, will advance to the general election in November. Early counts show that two other House races in heavily Democratic districts in the Los Angeles area are also expected to feature both Democrats and Republicans on the November ballot. .

California's 30th District (which includes large swathes of Los Angeles, all of West Hollywood, Glendale, Burbank, and parts of Pasadena) is overwhelmingly blue, with registered Democrats outnumbering Republicans by more than 3 to 1. . Mr. Schiff retained his seat. He served as a congressman for more than 20 years, when he resigned to run for the Senate seat of the late Dianne Feinstein.

Given the district's political composition, if Mr. Balekian participates in the runoff, Mr. Friedman has a good chance of winning in November. But the results could change significantly in the coming hours or days as more votes are counted. The race will become even more exciting when the two well-funded Democrats face off in November.

The field of candidates running to replace Schiff was tightly packed with 15 candidates. That long list also included Los Angeles Unified School Board member Nick Melvoin, trans activist G. “Maeby A. Girl” Pudlo, and former “Boy Meets World” star Ben Savage, among others. .

Friedman is the Legislature's transportation, housing and environmental leader and authored a bill in 2019 that would have banned the state's so-called fur coats, made it easier to build attached housing units to alleviate the housing crisis, and helped local governments drafted a law prohibiting the construction of housing by Parking spaces are mandated as part of most developments near transit stops.

In the San Fernando Valley seat currently held by retired Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Pacoima), Cárdenas' endorsed House candidate Luz Rivas (D-North Hollywood) received nearly half the votes. It definitely took first place. As of early Wednesday morning, Republican Benito “Benny” Bernal was a distant second in the race for California's 29th Congressional District.

In California's 31st Congressional District, voters in the San Gabriel Valley are choosing a new representative for the first time in a generation following Rep. Grace F. Napolitano's decision to retire, but the result remains close as of early Wednesday morning. . However, former Democratic Rep. Gil Cisneros took the lead, with Republicans Daniel Martinez and Pedro Antonio Casas close behind in second and third place, respectively. State Sens. Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) and Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) came in fourth and fifth.

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