Assistant City Attorney Dawn McIntosh, who won institutional backing, defeated former Councilmember Gerrie Schipske, a frequent critic of City Hall, to become the next city attorney.

As of Wednesday morning, McIntosh had 56% of the vote, compared to 44% for Schipske.

City Attorney Charlie Parkin announced in October he would retire, opening the seat up to a newcomer. Parkin, along with a majority of the City Council, endorsed McIntosh.

After leaving elected office in 2014 following two terms as a City Councilmember, Schipske has been one of the loudest critics of City Hall and had sued the city to block a transfer from the water department to the general fund, which the courts declared unconstitutional earlier this year.

Losing the suit cost the city $31 million and will reduce the general fund by millions annually going forward.

Schipske initially filed to run for mayor, but bowed out before the filing deadline to challenge McIntosh, who was running unopposed. The position of city attorney is highly influential, charged with reviewing and drafting city laws and contracts, and advising city leaders on a range of legal matters, from ethics and personnel issues to changing state and federal laws.

Polls leading up to Tuesday’s primary showed Schipske with a lead over McIntosh, with some in the City Attorney’s office saying they’re already getting their resumes together in the event that Schipske took the reins.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with current vote totals as of Wednesday morning. 

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.