Race for L.A. County Sheriff Could Make History With Unusually Strong Challenger Going Up Against the Incumbent

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Alex Villanueva, the progressive candidate facing off with incumbent L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell in the race for the leading law enforcement position is seen speaking to audience members in this 2018 photo. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Alex Villanueva, the progressive candidate facing off with incumbent L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell in the race for the leading law enforcement position is seen speaking to audience members in this 2018 photo. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

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On Tuesday, voters will decide who should take over one of the most powerful law enforcement jobs in the nation, in a contest that few may even realize appears on the crowded Los Angeles County ballot.

The race for sheriff could be historic. It pits the establishment incumbent against a lesser-funded political upstart in a battle that was never supposed to be this close.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell has been forced to catch up after running a tepid campaign before the primary, when retired Sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva stunned observers by knocking him into a runoff.

If Villanueva wins, he’ll become the first person to unseat a living L.A. County sheriff in more than 100 years.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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