In Chatsworth, Porter Ranch and other northwestern parts of the San Fernando Valley, voters are headed to the polls Tuesday to decide who should fill a coveted seat on the Los Angeles City Council.
Fifteen candidates are vying for the job after former councilman Mitchell Englander stepped down last year to take a job with a sports and entertainment firm. With so many candidates splitting the vote, Tuesday’s election is widely expected to trigger an August runoff between the top two finishers.
The eventual winner will represent a Valley council district that is more suburban in feel than much of Los Angeles. Homelessness has become a simmering issue in the race, underscoring deep divisions over how to confront the problem. The Aliso Canyon methane disaster, which displaced thousands in Porter Ranch, has also reverberated through the spring campaign.
For Democrats, the nonpartisan race nonetheless represents a chance to claim a council seat long held by Republicans. Many candidates are also pushing to end the long pattern of electing the top aide to the previous councilman — a City Hall dynasty that would lead next to John Lee, a former Englander aide widely seen as a frontrunner in the race.
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