Los Angeles, Tuesday, November 4, 2014: When the voters spoke, it wasn't even close. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell won election to Sheriff of Los Angeles County by one of the largest margins ever seen in the history of County politics, capturing 75% of the vote to beat former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka.
At around 8:30PM, McDonnell, accompanied by his family and District Attorney Jackie Lacey, entered the ballroom of downtown LA's JW Marriott hotel to a rousing cheer from the capacity crowd that had gathered to greet the first outsider to become Sheriff of Los Angeles County in 100 years.
McDonnell took to the podium and spoke briefly thanking his family and DA Lacey for their support, and promising to return when the results of the election were more certain. At that time McDonnell held a 50 point advantage over his opponent, based on absentee ballot returns.
Two hours later McDonnell returned to the podium. He was accompanied by the most prominent law enforcement and civic leaders to claim the victory that marked the culmination of a nine month campaign.
DA Jackie Lacey delivered a heartfelt and rousing speech thanking McDonnell for entering the race and underlining her reasons for supporting his campaign. Former District Attorneys Steve Cooley and Robert Philibosian, who had also supported McDonnell, were joined on the podium by LA County Supervisors Don Kanabe, Mark Ridley Thomas, and Supervisor-Elect Hilda Solis, as well as City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmembers Mitch Englander, Tony Cardenas, and Gil Cedilllo.
McDonnell will be sworn in as Los Angeles County Sheriff in January 2015.