McDonnell and Eng defeated, gas tax survives and other surprise election results come in

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Although final results are not in, it seems that retired sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva has secured a historic upset by leading against Sheriff Jim McDonnell in the election Los Angeles County sheriff. Although final results from provisional and mail-in ballots have yet to come in, results from the 2018 midterm elections are starting to coalesce across the state, with a few surprises rounding out an otherwise standard election.

On Wednesday morning, Villanueva emerged with a narrow lead over incumbent McDonnell, claiming 50.15 percent of the vote. The two candidates are separated by just 4,927 votes, although that could change as provisional and mailed ballots are tallied. McDonnell could become the first Los Angeles County sheriff in a century to lose a bid for reelection.

In another upset, challenger Susan Rubio has defeated Mike Eng in the race for State Senate in a distract spanning from West Covina to Alhambra by just a few percentage points. Rubio is a relative newcomer to the political stage.

Although few were surprised, Proposition 10’s defeat is sure to upset many among the 35 percent who voted in favor of it. Prop 10, which would have allowed local governments to enact rent control and enjoyed wide support among tenants’ rights groups, failed with just shy of 65 percent of Californians voting against it.

Proposition 6, the controversial effort to end California’s the much-maligned “gas tax” similarly failed. Like results for elected officials, results for other ballot propositions could change dramatically as provisional and mail ballots are counted.

Propositions 1, 2 and 4, which would fund housing and children’s hospitals, are all projected to pass, while Proposition 3, a bond for water and environmental projects, could fail. Proposition 5, an effort to remove certain transfer requirements for homeowners over 55, failed. Proposition 7, which would change daylight saving time if the federal government does so, has passed. Profit caps on dialysis in Prop 8 failed by a wide margin.

Private emergency ambulance employees will remain on-call during lunch breaks, thanks to Proposition 11 passing with 60 percent of the vote. Finally, Proposition 12, which gives farm animals more space to live in, seems to have passed.

Democrat Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom defeated Republican John Cox’s 40.5 percent hold over voters with a total of 59.5 percent, and Cox conceded the race around 9:30 p.m., with Newsom widening his lead as vote-counting continued. Despite the loss, the San Diego businessman said he was proud of the campaign he ran and the message he conveyed.

Meanwhile, Democrat Eleni Kounalakis managed to capture 57 percent of the vote, making her the front-runner to become California’s first female lieutenant governor. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla was re-elected, while Appointed California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was elected to stay on the job. Los Angeles schools exec Marshall Tuck leads the race for superintendent of public instruction with 52 percent of the vote.

A proposed county parcel tax to bankroll projects aimed at capturing, cleaning and conserving stormwater to prevent it from running downstream and polluting rivers and beaches appears to be heading for passage.

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