Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference Tuesday afternoon sharing his achievements while holding the county’s top position in law enforcement, but he took a moment to acknowledge the pending election victory of his challenger Robert Luna.
“I want to wish the incoming sheriff well. I want him to succeed for a simple reason,” Villanueva said during the press conference. “The safety of the community depends on him succeeding. The welfare of every single person in the department depends on him succeeding.”
According to the Los Angeles County Registar-Recorder/County Clerk’s post-election updates on Tuesday afternoon, Luna held the lead over Villanueva in the race to be county sheriff. Luna has received 60.01% (1,040,727) of the votes while Villanueva has received 39.99% (693,527) of the votes. An estimated 565,050 votes remain to be counted in L.A. County.
During the press conference, Villanueva reviewed his 36 years as a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and highlighted his four years as sheriff — cracking down on corruption, leading law enforcement amid civil unrest and more, he said.
“These last four years have brought tough times and made difficult challenges,” Villanueva said. “As a department, as a community we accomplished so much. We beat back COVID, beat back rising crime, beat back the old guard that resisted change.”
“We shouldered an era of greater accountability, greater transparency and 21st century policing reforms.”
At times, Villanueva criticized the “false narratives” of police brutality or “deputy gangs,” which were circulated by the political establishment and media.
“This whole thing on deputy gangs was literally a campaign strategy,” Villanueva said. “But they’re willing to wipe out the leadership to suit their ideology.”
In his final remarks of the afternoon, Villanueva thanked every member of the Sheriff’s Department and said he would visit the entire department in the next two weeks.
“We’re walking out of here with our heads high. We accomplished our mission we set out to be,” Villanueva said. “We could probably use four more years to solidify it, but we set a very high standard.”