In anticipation of Chief Jim McDonnell leaving the Long Beach Police Department should he be elected as LA County Sheriff—a high possibility—the city has begun the process of selecting his replacement.
Back in the June 4 primary election, McDonnell advanced to the upcoming November election alongside opponent Paul Tanaka. Despite a vast lead in the race—McDonnell received 48.9% of the vote, or 241,319—he was just shy of garnering the 50%-plus-one vote needed to win the seat. This was most likely due to a crowded candidate field, where seven candidates opted to face one another in the primary. Tanaka, placing second on June 4, received 14.8% of the vote, or 73,209 votes.
Given McDonnell’s previous numbers and his accrued list of endorsements, as well as his vast lead over Tanaka in fundraising, have placed him in the lead among speculators. McDonnell has raised a total of $416K while Tanaka sits behind with a paltry $18K. McDonnell has also spent significantly more money, having thrown some $326K across July, August, and September, compared to Tanaka’s $35K in expenditures.
Under the City Charter, the City Manager is responsible for selecting the police chief, according to Tom Modica, Deputy City Manager of Long Beach. Modica did not indicate if they had any ideas of who would succeed McDonnell should he be elected.