Los Angeles County Sheriff

Villanueva Now 86,920 votes ahead In His Remarkable Dark Horse Race Against Incumbent Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

With just under 261,000 ballots that still need to be counted, retired LA County Sheriff’s lieutenant and political dark horse Alex Villanueva continues to do what was once thought impossible.

When vote totals were previously announced on Friday of last week, Villanueva, the once unlikely challenger in the race for the office of Los Angeles County Sheriff, had widened his lead over incumbent sheriff Jim McDonnell to 57,810 votes.

But when the new count was announced late today, Villanueva had blown past those old totals to lead his rival by 86,920 votes, nearly 30,000 more than the last tally.

On Friday of last week, Villanueva declared the race over, saying he and his team had crunched numbers and did not believe that McDonnell still could win.

Today, however, the head of the world’s largest sheriff told ABC7 news that he is “hopeful and optimistic.” McDonnell also pointed out that there were still several hundred thousand votes remaining to be counted.

“I owe it to the [people] who voted for me to follow this thru to the end,” McDonnell tweeted Tuesday night.   “It would be irresponsible for me to concede at this time & abdicate my responsibilities while in a federal disaster declaration & facing mudslides. There’s a lot more to being sheriff than just running for sheriff.”

More soon!


  • So many Department rumors going on. The new Sheriff needs to start showing his leadership skills and calm the waters. Please pick your team and put out the names to stop all the rumors. Keep in mind we are watching who is picked, very closely. You made promises.

  • He’s not even in office and the caution flag has been raised. And so it begins. BTW the names are already out there.

  • @Not Again: McDonnell needs to concede first. He has not done that and by not doing that, he’s hurting the LASD. Concede and let Sheriff Villanueva transition his team.

    LASD needs to move forward.

    Let go Jim. Please.

  • What an amazing turn of events when a man wins, with little chance, little money, mocked by all the so called smart media and political elites of LA County. I know that many may not like the comparison but, like candidate Trump (who also no one thought he could win) beats back all the algorithms and haters and came through and won! I am not comparing the two politically, only in method of running a smart and effective campaign.

    Alex must stay vigilant and be carefully mindful of the Never Villanuevas as there are Never Trumpers. From day one there will be those entrenched in the LASD swamp that will refuse to help and do anything to blame and complain. Under Baca the swamp got way out of control and the swamp feeders are totally fine with the corruption that has existed for decades.

    Sheriff Elect Villanueva will need to place the most trusted people around him that will tell the truth and act accordingly. This just may require draining the swamp and starting anew. There is NO need, right now, to tell anyone how or who will be put into place. Use this time to select wisely and use this time should you need to change your mind. Nothing is in cement(except your election) and ensure that you inspect everything. Or have trusted disciples to make sure things get done.

    True, you won’t do everything right but, you’ll never intentionally do things wrong, as done in the past two regimes. Those currently in staff positions that walk up and congratulate you are your main back stabbers-but then again you know that! The friends you had previously are still your friends today. Remember, that there are many who helped!

    Anyone from Baca’s staff that calls to wish you well, may I suggest you have someone else take the call. Stay away from all the corruption of Baca and his boys. The swampers will try to connect you to Russian collusion. Historians will look back at LASD history and note that it was the Baca regime that started the fall and it will be Sheriff Villanueva that started the new honor bound LASD free from bogus pride and prejudice.

    Right now there are files being deleted or taken out of SHB and stations everywhere trying to hide the dirt. I don’t know what can be done about it except the current outgoing sheriff should immediately send out an edict that anyone who destroys and file or removes them will be subject to punishment. However, I don’t see McDonnell doing what is right. In fact, McD is also praying for your failure but that won’t come.

    Just like to two dishonorable politicians who lost in Florida and refused to concede so we find outgoing Sheriff McDonnell. For a man that supposedly hates campaigning and being a politician he sure acts like one!

    Sheriff McDonnell; you are not a bad man. You did your best but in the end the voters decided otherwise. Please don’t take what’s left of LASD down with the ship and for once, truly think of the men and women that make up our once great LASD. But, being honorable is a choice isn’t it? The person that is advising you not to concede is that the same person that told you not to debate?

  • This truly is historic. McD thought it was in the bag, no need to debate. If they get through enough ballots today it may be mathimatically impossible for buckles. Looking forward to see who Alex selects to run the ship with him. Happy to see the misfits sent packing. The young bucks who are executives with not enough time on to leave, enjoy the rank of commander for the balance of your time. You are finished here. Boom.

  • Um, You are too opinionated with your hypothetical scenarios. My advice to you is to grab a seat and let this turnover take its course. Hillary and Donald were the last two candidates in the presidential election due to both of them being well heeled.

  • Amen @Um. The cancer in the LASD goes back 20 years to the beginnings of the Baca regime. Alex would be very wise to avoid the many folks who jumped on the bandwagons going on that hay ride (which turned to an out of control bonfire). Department people know who they are and that was McDonnell’s downfall. He had too many people who were just going along for a free ride (up) and did not give a hoot for what was good for the LASD and it’s people.

  • Sheriff Villanueva please clean house soon! Thank you ALADS And AFSCME for backing the new Sheriff. Shame on you PPOPA!

  • It should be noted, PPOA had a dismall return of the “paper ballots” mailed out to it’s members unlike ALADS electronic balot. The shame is on the president of PPOA for using the tallly of a meager sampling of ballots to justify his wholesale support of the incumbent Sheriff. It was a clear political ploy of PPOA’s part to chose a team, curry favor and hope for payback bump in rank.

    The shame is on the leadership of PPOA.

    ALADS for once, got it right and seemed to put the interest of ALL it’s members ahead of individual personnel gain.

  • It’s good to know that LASD will return back to Tan & Green. My screenshots will come back to this feed when certain individuals don’t get their desires on a silver platter. Alex is on a mission and not indebted to anyone or group. It’s also interesting how those who didn’t want anything to do with Alex before this election are now cheering and kissing his ass, especially ALADS. Alex is smart as can can read through the lines.

  • Let’s hope he loosens the ink restrictions. Whether he does or not, I’ll still hit the field, sleeves rolled up, ink showing, chewing my fav tobacco product. Don’t like it? Drop by my unit and say hi! PS, you old coots have a great Thanksgiving. Use some extra efferdent to keep them choppers in place, I’m 98! PSS, anyone have Alex’s digits?

  • @Good Time: What a great viedeo, thanks for sharing. I will rate that right up there with the 2016 election night of President Trump. I just wonder, how many times Jim Wolack walked into camera view so we could all see him. Yes Jimmy we saw you, and so did Sheriff Villanueva, and his new executive staff.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone, what a wonderful way to start up the holidays.

  • I just saw the video. Yes, McD noted that “All of my command staff are here.” McD commented on how flawed the ALADS vote of no confidence was and 4 of the 5 board members didn’t vote.

    The command staff thought McD was a shoe-in and considered there was little risk. However, as a command staff member you couldn’t afford not to go. Well, you made your bed (as the old saying goes) and now it’s time to get your bed sheets and extra skivvies and move on. Sheriff Elect Villanueva would be wise to request that these people retire. Once again to clearly illustrate that McD is not watching out for Department members McD knew that any political appearance on his behalf would compromise any member, particularly command staff. But, the command staff are adults and should have known better. Add, that a policy should be set that Department members are not required to attend nor expect any favor by attending political events that benefit the re-election of the sheriff. This is huge conflict of interest. Your loyalty is to your OATH OF OFFICE not to a person. Sheriff Elect Villanueva please take note.

    The vote of no confidence by ALADS was just laughed at by McD. That sardonic grin has been wiped completely off by the sin of hubris. Recall what I wrote about hubris? McD with just one jerky smirk wrote off thousands of line deputies. This would have been a perfect time for McD to seriously consider how he was perceived by the deputies. But, nooooo he was more interested that his command staff was present. Once again Sheriff Elect Villanueva take note.

  • Ironic that ALADS spent 1.3 million to elect Villanueva, which was great for someone who was despised not so long ago. There are still dinosaurs in ALADS that still brew with anger. Similarly ALADS spent over 2.5 million in legal proceedings (Superior BC 540789) to oust former ALADS President Armando Maciasto to only get golden sprayed goose eggs. This will never go in the Dispatcher or email blast. Check for yourself.

  • “Alex’s very limited experience as a low-level manager played heavy in our decision in the endorsement,” Moriguchi said. “Choosing him would be like asking a drive-through teller at a fast-food restaurant to be the CEO of the company.” YIKES!!!

  • Good Time:

    Thanks for that; everybody, read the reader commentary that follows the L.A. Times story–some bad stuff in there.

  • “Something that happened 20, 25 years ago, or longer, we give that appropriate weight in determining, OK, the person did what they did or made a mistake on this date. What have they done since, from a standpoint of redemption? Have they been a model employee since that time?” McDonnell said.

    We all now the discipline guide lines are pretty vast in many cases; written reprimand to discharge in many instances. I’ve heard under McDonnell [and his Constitutional Policing Expert(s)] that low hanging fruits heads are all they lop off and hang on the wall.

    One of the top category being things like a lowly deputy or sergeant with a completely non-aggravated or complicated DUI in their early days that they took their medicine on, no lying or anything, mistake of heart not mind [many times along with heavy amounts of work-related stress], and if they catch a second one 15, 20, years down the road, even if its another garden variety completely full cooperation given misdemeanor DUI, fire them. No consideration of what they have done in their career. Apparently that’s for command staff only. Their 15 or 20 years are apparently more valuable then line staff’s.

    But Jimmy looks tough, he’s restoring the shine to the badge, and the whole “Tactical Package”. Remember that one after the Jimmy Kimmel Show outed his wasted money to switch chrome to brass. I personally thought the deputy that looked dumpy in chrome looked just as dumpy in brass, sometimes worse if the brass wasn’t freshly polished. But, like someone said before, Jimmy screws you with a nice Bostonian smile and grin.

  • WOW!!! Did I already say WOW!!! Probably need to say it over and over….

    I remember hearing about that North county caper all the way down South. Never saw the memo’s that the Times got in that link you put up.

    SO, the current Under-sheriff, and his Commanders ALL took care of their boy Johnson, with no discipline and promoted him again. How could Bright eyes and his Constitutional Advisers not have seen all that from their detailed 30,000 foot view????

    Reminds me of when Tanaka told Olmsted to groom Capt. Cruz for Commander instead of putting the cases Olmsted said should be put on him.

    Their in the EXECUTIVE car…. with political benefits… Guess McDonnel had the seats from Tanaka’s car installed in his Denali extraordinaire….. what the heck, it’s just the tax payers dollars… and he’s got over 3 BILLION of them!!!

  • “4 of the 5 board members did not vote”

    @ Um: Can you or any knowledgeable person expound upon suvh an odd phoenoma within a crucial election?

  • In looking at that ironic video with McDonnell saying all of his command staff being there (and Jim Wollack doing a cameo walk-through), it comes to mind that Sheriff Block very much discouraged his command staff from participating in his elections saying that he thought the political side of his job should not be mixed with his running of the Department. That included his expressed discouragement of any political donations. He was a just a principled man who knew that ethically, the two should not be mixed.

    That all changed with the election of the far-from-principled Leroy Baca when he unashamedly rewarded those who worked for him in his first election with promotions and then actually shook down Dept executives and want-a-bee’s for donations for his later campaigns with Stonich and Waldie being his arm twisters. It was to say the least very unseemly, if not unethical.

    I hope Alex goes back to letting the Department be the Department and his politics be in a completely separate part of his job.

  • I believe the comment was in reference to the ALADS Board and the decision to do a vote of no conference survey. I could be wrong but that’s what I understood when he made his statement.

    Two major problems with his statement, if it is directed at the ALADS BOD: 1st-we have 7 Directors, 2nd-we unanimously agreed to do the survey.

  • Ron Hernandez: While responding to the above, can you verify yea or nea to the comment below regarding the dollar amount of ALADS funding Villanueva’s campaign? Any truth to the ridiculous amount spent on the legal fee’s against former ALADS Prez Macias?

  • And PPOA new about ALL of this shit, yet they sold out their membership and endorsed anyways. Then Brian has the nerve to offer up a quote for the article. You can’t make this shit up!!

    PPOA, you’re FUCKING pathetic!!!

  • LA Times article:

    “Villanueva is scheduled to appear at a candidate forum held by the ACLU of Southern California on Saturday. McDonnell said Thursday he would not attend.”

    How did that work out for you Jim McBuckles?

  • It is apparent that Brian the Megalomaniac leader PPOA is in a completely delusional state where he has no room in his mind for anything but his own thoughts, ideas, values, concepts, etc. He seeks to impose them on others by any means necessary. He needs to leave PPOA before he completely destroys this mediocre union more.

  • I hope the concession speech is already prepared and the old regime does not sabotage the works for the new Sheriff.

    They just announced a huge intent to promote list…strange timing with an election still to be decided and all.

    Good luck and in the spirit on one embarking on a journey, God’s Speed.

  • With just under 260,000 votes left to be counted as of November 20, that should leave around 150,000 votes left to count.

    Even if the Sheriff did receive all 150K votes, which is highly unlikely and improbable, a recount would be in order.

  • Hopefully Celeste will update and explain more….about how their getting this count done.

    But if my math is right…
    Villanueva went from 1,193,670 to 1,232,638 = +38,968
    McDonnell went from 1,106,750 to 1,127,602 = +20,852

    So [as you said] puts Villanueva up 105,036.

    The weird thing, they were counting 200,000+ votes each time [Tue/Fri.]. This time they only counted 59,820. There was 261,000 +/- remaining Tue.

    So there’s still 200,000 +/- left.

    But as Villanueva said, his team and he don’t see a winning scenario for McDonnell mathematically. I would have to say he’s right. He’s gained the lions share each Tue/Fri count result. So McDonnell would have to get about 55-60% of the remaining 200,000. However the trend has shown Villanueva has been getting the 51 to 70% each time. If they split 50/50, Villanueva wins by 100,000+. So, it’s over in many of our minds, but that “plump” lady hasn’t sung just yet.

    I just hope it doesn’t take them two more weeks to count that 200,000.

  • Wait…. McDonnell needs 75+% of that last 200,000. He would have to cover the 105,036 and then get 51% of the rest.

    Jimmy, call Villanueva and put promotions on hold for the new Sheriff to be involved with the employees he’s going to be leading.

  • The L.A. Co Registrar Recorder says there are about 185,000 votes left to count, and the next count update will be after 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26.

  • New Sheriff and New PPOA Leadership. Sounds good.

    Brian, it’s time to make that
    “mature decision”. Remember that phrase in the academy? Do us all a favor and make it.

  • @ ALADS will never mention their financial bearings, specifically a loss. Past practices reign supreme within an organization that feigns change. The new Sheriff can verify which really doesn’t matter at this point. Something tells me that the short lived reunification between ALADS & Alex will go up in smoke.

  • Hurry up Jefito. Take care of us ELA homeboys. We’ll get you the ink you’ve always wanted. how long till our ROD homies come back to work. This was one of your big promises!

  • This is hardly news. Pinky predicted this years ago when he was working with his old partner Ratner. We all made fun of Pinky for jumping in two cars. Insurance he called it. Anyways, that was years ago and if my memory serves me right, Ratner married Pinky’s mom and they stopped being friends. Before Pinky moved to Minnesota, he predicted “Chuey” would become the next Sheriff.

  • Typical south station mentality. It’s cringeworthy reading your post. Tattoos and tobacco… what real men are made of!

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