EDITOR'S NOTE: The story below has been updated to reflect that David Ryu has conceded the race for Los Angeles City Council District Four.
LOS ANGELES — Despite votes still being counted in Los Angeles County, on Friday David Ryu conceded his race for City Council and congratulated his challenger, Nithya Raman.
Since Thursday, Raman had begun to receive congratulations on running a successful campaign.
As of Thursday afternoon, sitting City Council members Curren D. Price, Mike Bonin, and Marqueece Harris-Dawson have offered their congratulations, welcoming Raman to the council via Twitter.
In a statement Friday, Ryu said:
“The voters of District Four have spoken, and I respect the outcome of this election. I am proud of the race we run, and I will always be proud of the diverse coalition behind this campaign - working people, Democratic Party leaders, and hundreds of volunteers and community leaders from across Council District Four. […] I congratulate my opponent on her victory. […] Now is the time to come together. No matter your political views, or who you supported in this campaign, we all must work together to overcome the challenges facing our city."
The contest between Raman and Ryu became, in a way, a reflection of the struggle between progressive policies and establishment Democratic Party views. That was illustrated best by their most high-profile endorsements: Raman is backed by progressive champion U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, while Ryu won the endorsement of 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In a speech to supporters on Nov. 3, Ryu thanked his backers, saying that "no matter what happens tonight, you have all proved that decency and love still have a place in politics."
According to Thursday afternoon’s updated ballot count, Raman holds 52.4% of the vote, leading Ryu with a margin of 5,602 votes.
As of Oct. 16, there are 183,671 registered voters in Council District 4, an oddly-shaped district that snakes and stretches out to include parts of North Hollywood, Koreatown, Silverlake, the Mid-Wilshire area, and out to the 405 Freeway.
According to Thursday's count, 116,764 votes have been counted in the race to date, for more than 63% of Council District 4 voters.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Council District 10, former Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has declared victory over Grace Yoo for the seat vacated by Herb Wesson. Based on Thursday's count, Ridley-Thomas has a commanding lead, holding 61.26% of the vote.
City Council President Nury Martinez has offered her congratulations in that race, tweeting that Ridley-Thomas “brings experience and results in his return to the Los Angeles City Council.”
On Friday, Nithya Ramanin released the following statement:
To the residents of CD4, our brilliant, kind, and inspiring campaign team, our thousands of tireless volunteers, and everyone who shared their ideas for how we can build the LA we deserve:
It’s now official. Thanks to your support, we’re going to City Hall.
This was a campaign built on the work of organizers and movement leaders who have been fighting for a better LA for years, and so many energized people who were just realizing their power to shape the city.
I’m so honored to carry their values with me as a Councilmember.
I want to thank Councilmember Ryu for his leadership over the last five years. His focus on homelessness and transparent governance are issues that I take to heart. I hope to build on his efforts in city hall.
We ran a campaign on policy, civic education and constituent engagement. The crises facing Los Angeles are vast but hopefully not insurmountable. We are excited to build off of the policies we campaigned on, and get to work.
To the people of Council District 4, I’m so grateful for the trust you’ve placed in me. I know we’re heading into a challenging moment as a city, but I am ready and excited to navigate it with you.
I have countless people to thank individually. But for now, I just want to celebrate the joy of working with so many of you to fight for our city -- and get ready for the work to come.
There will be joy in that work, too. Because we’re all going to City Hall together.