Alex Villanueva Inches Closer to Upset Over Incumbent Jim McDonnell in L.A. County Sheriff Race

Alex Villanueva, center, is seen at a reception hosted by Citizens PAC and SEIU, groups that financially backed him in his bid for Los Angeles County sheriff, on Nov. 20, 2018. (Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Alex Villanueva, center, is seen at a reception hosted by Citizens PAC and SEIU, groups that financially backed him in his bid for Los Angeles County sheriff, on Nov. 20, 2018. (Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Alex Villanueva, the retired cop who’s commanded a startling lead in the election for Los Angeles County sheriff, edged closer to triumph Tuesday, stretching his margin to nearly 87,000 votes ahead of incumbent Jim McDonnell.

Almost 261,000 ballots still need to be counted in a race that — no matter who wins — has already defied convention in Los Angeles County as a nail-biter threat against a sitting sheriff.

Villanueva had 1,193,670 votes compared with McDonnell’s 1,106,750. Villanueva, a retired sheriff’s lieutenant, claimed victory last week, though he has yet to receive a concession from McDonnell.

The latest vote tally comes as the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is investigating a complaint about potential straw donors to Villanueva’s campaign. Villanueva has said that he believes all the contributions to his campaign were legal and that he is not considering refunding them.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.