Incumbent Alex Villanueva has conceded the race for Los Angeles County Sheriff.
Villanueva announced his concession Tuesday afternoon, a week after polls closed in the general election.
Vote totals since last week have shown the embattled sheriff trailing significantly behind challenger Robert Luna, retired chief of the Long Beach Police Department.
Throughout his one-term as the leader of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department, Villanueva regularly made headlines for his clashes with the media and members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. His regular conflicts with the supervisors led to Measure A making its way onto last Tuesday’s ballot.
The measure, which passed, grants the Board of Supervisors the ability to remove the elected sheriff for cause by a four-fifths vote.
Luna will now take the reins of the Sheriff’s Department in the coming months and will have plenty of work to do as he attempts to bring together what many consider a fractured agency.
“I want to wish the incoming sheriff well. I want him to succeed for a simple reason, the safety of the community depends on him succeeding, the welfare of every single person in the department depends on him succeeding,” Villanueva said.
Luna released a statement on social media that reads in part:
“I’m deeply honored and humbled that you have elected me as your next Sheriff. With your vote, you have entrusted me with a clear mandate to bring new leadership and accountability to the Sheriff’s Department.”
Luna offered his best wishes to Villanueva and his family and said he was looking forward to working with the Sheriff’s Department’s “talented and courageous sworn and professional staff.”