McDonnell not conceding in race for LA County sheriff

Retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva has already proclaimed himself the winner in his bid to unseat incumbent Sheriff Jim McDonnell, and he continued to expand his lead Tuesday with the release of the latest vote tally.

According to the county Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office, Villanueva’s lead from the Nov. 6 election is now at 86,920 votes, up from 57,810 votes on Saturday.

The new count gives Villanueva 51.9 percent of the vote to McDonnell’s 48.1 percent.

Villanueva proclaimed victory in the race on Friday, writing on his Twitter page, “Now the work really begins as I prepare the hit the ground running on day one as your new Los Angeles County sheriff.”

About 260,000 ballots still need to be counted.

Despite Villanueva’s widening lead, McDonnell issued a statement Tuesday saying he will not concede the race “until the ballot count has been completed.” He noted that he realizes the “statistics appear to favor my opponent,” and said he is prepared to reach out to Villanueva to “discuss an orderly transition, should that be necessary.”

“Over a quarter of a million ballots still remain to be counted,” he said. “I owe it to the more than 1.1 million people thus far who voted for me to follow this through to the end.”

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