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Villanueva ousts incumbent in race for Los Angeles sheriff

November 27, 2018
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FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2018, file photo, retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Alex Villanueva holds a news conference as he leads in votes against Sheriff Jim McDonnell, at Crossfit Resolute in Whittier, Calif., where he is part owner. Villanueva has won the race for Los Angeles County sheriff, making Jim McDonnell the first incumbent to lose the seat in more than a century. City News Service said updated election results Monday, Nov. 27, 2018 showed Villanueva leading by more than 125,000 votes, with only 100,000 ballots left to be counted. McDonnell promised an orderly transition of power in a statement released Monday. (Sarah Reingewirtz/The Orange County Register via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Villanueva scored an upset win Monday in the race for Los Angeles County sheriff, making Jim McDonnell the first incumbent to lose the seat in more than a century.

Villanueva, a retired sheriff’s lieutenant, proclaimed victory last week. But McDonnell had declined to concede, saying he would wait for all the votes to be counted in the contest to lead the nation’s largest sheriff’s department.

He finally admitted defeat Monday after updated election results showed Villanueva leading by nearly 126,000 votes with only 100,000 ballots left to be counted, according to City News Service.

McDonnell promised an orderly transition of power in a statement released Monday, nearly three weeks after the Nov. 6 election.

“The honor of serving as the LA County Sheriff is one like no other in law enforcement,” the statement said. “The Sheriff will be immediately faced with a range of very complex issues that go to the heart of maintaining public safety and public trust.”

Villanueva is expected to be sworn in next week.

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