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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Candidates to face off in runoff

September 24, 2009|Maeve Reston

Assemblyman Paul Krekorian and former Paramount Pictures Corp. executive Christine Essel will compete in a Dec. 8 runoff election to fill the City Council seat vacated by Wendy Greuel.

Krekorian and Essel were the top two vote-getters in Tuesday's special election.

A runoff is required under city rules if no candidate breaks 50%. Fewer than 12% of registered voters cast ballots in a district that covers parts of Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, Valley Glen, North Hollywood and Sunland-Tujunga.

Essel, who has never run for office, and Krekorian, who served on the Burbank school board before he was elected to the Assembly in 2006, led the other eight candidates in fundraising during the brief contest. In the final tally, Krekorian led with 34% of the vote to Essel's 28%.

Los Angeles school board member Tamar Galatzan, a deputy city attorney, finished third with 13% and Mary Benson, a Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council member, came in fourth with 8% of the vote.

-- Maeve Reston

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