All five of the Long Beach measures on Tuesday's ballot were passing easily with all precincts reporting.
Los Angeles County Clerk and Recorder Dean C. Logan said provisional and mail-in ballots turned in Tuesday still had to be counted. The first update is expected Friday; election results should be certified by Nov. 30.
Mayor Robert Garcia and Auditor Laura Doud's package of four "good government" charter amendments all passed with better than a 10 percent margin. The petition-driven Measure WW, which requires panic buttons and work limits for hotel house keepers in hotels with 50 rooms or more, also passed easily, with 61.7 percent of the vote.
"We've felt good about this from day one," Garcia told a small crowd of supporters gathered Tuesday at the Long Beach Firefighters union hall. "We had to be positive, stay positive and lead with facts. That was very important."
The charter amendments — AAA through DDD — are as follows.
AAA — Would authorize the city auditor to conduct performance audits and clarify the auditor's access to city records.
BBB — Would establish a three term limit on mayoral and City Council service and eliminate the option of being elected for more terms as a write-in candidate.
CCC — Would create a City Ethics Commission.
DDD — Would establish an independent city Redistricting Commission.
The term limit change, Measure BBB, prompted a significant organized opposition, and was the closest of the Long Beach issues, passing with 55.6 percent of the vote. A group called the Long Beach Reform Coalition brought eight activist and community groups together to fight the measure.
"This campaign was quite the experience," Ian Patton, the coalition's director, said Tuesday night. "To see so many disparate people come together and actually get along for a common cause was inspiring… Whatever happens, this has been historic. We've already accomplished a lot. How can they not listen to us after this?"
Patton said all of the campaign donations his group received were from individuals, while the group led by Garcia relied on corporate and outside donations. The Reform Coalition was outspent at about 8 to 1, he added.
Garcia said that voters approved the charter amendments because they were convinced that the changes would bring the city government into the 21st Century.
"It is a very big step forward," he said. "It will modernize our government and make it more transparent… I have to thank the voters of Long Beach for trusting us, and I thank them more for loving our city."
Other area contests were nearly as one-sided. Congressman Alan Lowenthal was in command for another term representing Long Beach's 47th District, beating challenger John Briscoe by more than 34,000 votes. Patrick O'Donnell was even more dominant in his try for a third term representing the 70th state Assembly District, gathering 71.75 percent of the vote in the race against independent Honor Robson.
The biggest upset of the election, at least in the Los Angeles region, was the upset of Sheriff Jim McDonnell (a former Long Beach police chief) by retired sheriff's lieutenant Alex Villanueva. With all the precincts reporting, Villanueva had a nearly 5,000 vote lead. The margin is only 0.3 percent, and both sides were waiting for the provisional and late mail-in ballot count before declaring a result.
The Los Angeles County Measure W, which would add a parcel tax to raise money for flood control and storm water capture projects, requires a two-thirds majority to pass because it is a new tax. On Wednesday morning, it had almost exactly that, with 67.48 percent approval. Again, ballots still to be counted could change the outcome.
On the state level, Gavin Newsom ran away with the race to be the next governor, with more than 4 million (59.4 percent) of the votes. The two most prominent state propositions, Prop. 6 to repeal the state gas tax and Prop. 10 to repeal a law limiting cities' rights to impose rent control, both lost by significant margins. With 97.4 percent of the votes counted, Prop. 6 was losing 56.3 percent no to 44.7 percent yes. Prop. 10 failed by an even larger margin, 61.7 percent to 38.3 percent.