By Gary Kohatsu
The second time is the charm for Daniel Lee, who has prevailed in a hotly-contested race for the second of two open City Council seats. Lee garnered 3,335 votes to finish 212 votes ahead of third-place finisher, Albert Vera, who received 3,123 votes.
Lee, who was a close third in the 2016 council race, is Culver City’s first African American Council member — 100 years after the city’s incorporation. Alex Fisch led all vote-getters with 3,819 after Monday’s second counting session. Marcus Tiggs was fourth in the race with 2,189 votes.
Fisch and Lee will be sworn into office on April 30.
They succeed Mayor Jeffrey Cooper and Councilman Jim Clarke, both of whom were termed out of office.
The new council members will join Meghan Sahli-Wells, Thomas Small and Goren Eriksson on the 5-member council. Small will assume the Mayor’s post and Eriksson will become vice mayor.
L.A. County still had about 500 VBM and provisional ballots to be counted this week,. City Clerk Jeremy Green said voters had until April 18 to sign their ballots, per a new state law.
A final official vote count would be available this Friday, the clerk said.
Fisch, an environment attorney, led in the votes as the first precinct numbers rolled in on election night, April 10. He never looked back.
Lee and Vera were locked in a see-saw battle for the other seat, until the last batch of precinct ballots were counted April 10. Lee carried a 170-vote lead over Vera heading into the April 16 second round of vote tallies.
Mesure A garnered 5,443 yes votes and 967 no votes.
Voter turnout for this election was 7,109 or 26.7 percent of registered voters.