Election 2022: Mejia declares victory over Koretz in city controller race

Kenneth Mejia declared victory in the race for L.A. city controller after the Los Angeles County registrar released semi-official results from the 2022 statewide general election shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9. The next county results update will be on Friday.

The winner will replace Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin, who has held the position since 2013 and has released numerous in-depth financial reports and studies related to City Hall and city departments.

Mejia had a significant lead over Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz.

Mejia won 60.81% of the vote as of Wednesday morning to Koretz’s 39.19%. He had 261,832 votes to Koretz’s 168,710.

“We did it,” Mejia tweeted Tuesday night. “We won by 23 points! First CPA as city controller.”



• FIRST CPA as City Controller
• FIRST Filipino elected official in LA
• FIRST AAPI citywide elected official
• FIRST POC as City Controller in over 100 years

more to come!

— Kenneth Mejia, CPA (@kennethmejiaLA) November 9, 2022


Koretz, who represents City Council District 5 and whose term is up on the City Council, was elected as a councilman in 2009 after serving at the West Hollywood Council and California state assemblyman. On the City Council, he spearheaded programs related to climate change, neighborhood pollution and protecting tenants from eviction, and pushed for a database of housing for low-income families.

“It was a difficult race, to begin with,” Koretz said during a phone interview on Wednesday, adding that his team conducted a poll — even before racist comments made during a meeting with three council members behind closed doors surfaced in October — and found that many voters were inclined to vote against a council member.

Koretz said that it didn’t help that some media outlets endorsed a candidate “as radical as Mejia.”

Koretz said he hadn’t given a lot of thought to what he would do next, but he was considering working in the “non-profit realm which I’ve done a tiny bit, or working for another elected official. There are a lot of possibilities. I just haven’t given it a lot of thought.”

During his campaign, he emphasized the need to audit all city environmental programs and potentially replace the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which he said is “completely dysfunctional.” He said it was important to examine inefficiencies in the Los Angeles Police Department budget.

Koretz had secured endorsements from a slew of current and former Los Angeles city controllers and elected officials, including Laura Chick, Wendy Greuel, Rick Tuttle and Ira Reiner — in addition to California Attorney General Rob Bonta and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla.

Mejia earned his bachelor of science in accounting from Woodbury University and received his certified public accountant license. He worked on audits of multimillion-dollar and billion-dollar private and public companies and in 2016 joined the L.A. Tenants Union where he assisted tenants facing rent increases and evictions.

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Mejia was a member of the Koreatown Neighborhood Council where he advocated for tenant protections under consideration by the L.A. City Council. He said he is a political outsider, arguing that this would help him hold accountable city departments and officials.

Mejia’s endorsements include the Los Angeles Times editorial board, Councilman Mike Bonin and activist Eunisses Hernandez, who was elected in the June primary and will replace District 1 City Councilmember Gil Cedillo later this year.

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