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Kenneth Mejia declares victory over Paul Koretz in LA controller race

Los Angeles City Hall is pictured. Kenneth Mejia defeated current city councilmember Paul Koretz in the LA city controller election by more than 20 percentage points.(Daily Bruin file photo)

By Catherine Hamilton

Nov. 13, 2022 5:30 p.m.

This post was updated Nov. 13 at 11:57 p.m.

Los Angeles voters elected accountant Kenneth Mejia as their next city controller. 

The LA city controller oversees monetary auditing services and accounting and financial operations for the city, according to the office’s website. Mejia will replace current controller Ron Galperin, who cannot seek reelection because of term limits. Mejia defeated District 5 City Councilmember Paul Koretz, who is also registered as a Democrat.

As of Sunday morning, Mejia received 61.2% of the vote and Koretz received 38.8%. 

Mejia claimed victory in a Twitter post 31 minutes after polls closed Nov. 8, and by Wednesday morning, Koretz – while not officially conceding – acknowledged that he would lose the race, according to the LA Times. 

In his post, Mejia said he will be the first Filipino elected official in LA, the first Asian American or Pacific Islander citywide elected official and the first person of color to serve as city controller in more than a century. He will also be the first certified public accountant to hold the position. 

“It was always an uphill battle,” Mejia said in a victory speech Tuesday night. “Always thought we were too young, too idealistic. … We proved everyone wrong.”

Mejia also finished ahead of Koretz in the June 7 primary by nearly 20 percentage points, earning 43.12% of the vote while Koretz received 23.67%. 

[Related: Los Angeles city controller candidates present policy positions]

Expanding alternatives to police response, increasing transparency in climate action and helping connect people experiencing homelessness with social services were some of Mejia’s major campaign promises. He also used platforms such as Twitter and TikTok to inform younger voters of the city controller’s responsibilities.

Throughout his campaign, Koretz advocated for potentially replacing the LA Homeless Services Authority, supporting community-based solutions to the climate crisis and prioritizing animal welfare. 

Koretz, who represents UCLA and Westwood, will step down from the City Council in December, having fulfilled his three-term office limit.

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Catherine Hamilton | National news and higher education editor
Hamilton is the 2022-2023 national news and higher education beat editor. She was previously a national news contributor. She is also a second-year English and political science student.
Hamilton is the 2022-2023 national news and higher education beat editor. She was previously a national news contributor. She is also a second-year English and political science student.
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