With 49.62 percent of the vote, Isaac Bryan held a commanding lead in the race to represent the 54th district in the California Assembly, but it was still not known whether or not he could avoid a runoff at press. To do that, Bryan would need to secure more than 50% of the votes cast. A final tally of the votes has not been posted.
The special election was called to fill the seat vacated by Sydney Kamlager, who was elected to fill the Senate seat vacated by now Supervisor Holly Mitchell. Both Mitchell and Kamlager were among a host of elected officials backing Bryan in his bid, including Councilmembers Mark Ridley-Thomas, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price, and Congresswoman Karen Bass.
Heather Hutt was a distant second to Bryan with 24.61% and 8,473 votes to Bryan’s 17,086 votes cast. Hutt, who is backed by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, had served as a former Southern California district director for then U.S. Senator Kamala Harris.
Cheryl Turner finished third with 10.6% of the vote, followed by political consultant Dallas Fowler (7.6%); Bernard Senter (4.5%) and Samuel Morales (3.2%).
“The community put me on this ballot and the work isn’t mine alone to claim,” stated Bryan, who is the founding director of the UCLA Black Policy Project, a multi-issue policy initiative that has informed legislation at all levels of government.
“This campaign, like Measure J and so many policy changes before, is a labor of love. I feel like we have a real chance to do something special.”
Bryan has said that his first legislative action would be to ensure an equitable COVID-19 response.
“I will seize opportunities to use the state’s multibillion dollar surplus to allocate additional funds for COVID relief to the most impacted communities — particularly those, like black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses, that have been overlooked by Federal relief programs,” he said.
If Bryan is not able to secure the 50%-plus margin he needs to win outright, he would take on Hutt in a special runoff election on July 20.