Mayor James Butts was all smiles, all night on Tuesday, as he made the rounds at his victory watch party on Florence Ave. and Market Street. He shook hands and posed for photographs, but was seriously focused on the numbers.
It came as no surprise that the incumbent Mayor of Inglewood would win another term. To Butts, the question was, “by how much?”
According to the Inglewood City Clerk’s Office, Butts won more than 83 percent of the vote. His nearest rival is former Inglewood Councilmember Mike Stevens with 9.49 percent, making Butts’ margin the largest in Inglewood’s mayoral history.
Not content to merely win another 4 years, Butts made multiple trips to the widescreen monitor on the wall to track his progress. Absentee ballots had the mayor at around 81 percent. “I want 90,” he said.
Inglewood businessman Billy Campbell said he supports the mayor because “he has been able to get a council into office who works together. He has the capability to make things happen.”
A building contractor said she supports Butts “because of what he stands for.”
After thanking the crowd, introducing his family and giving a special honor to his mother-in-law, Mayor Butts recounted how Inglewood has changed under his leadership:
“Four years ago, (people) thought of Inglewood as drive-by shootings, council meetings that last until 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning, and a city that was rudderless. Today, we have billionaires shaking in their boots because we’re taking their lunch money.” That announcement prompted a round of cheers and high-fives.
Butts was joined by Gloria Gray, West Basin Municipal Water District Board Member who also won re-election.
Gray, who had won 77 percent of absentee votes by 10pm, thanked Butts for “all the good work he has done for this city,” and said the mayor has a servant’s heart.
“Inglewood is really, really on the move,” Gray said. “When I (travel and) talk about Inglewood, I don’t see the frowns anymore. They listen. There is interest in the city throughout the nation.”
Across town, at the Marriott in Marina del Rey, political newcomer Autumn Burke celebrated winning her seat on the 62nd Assembly:
“Over the last two years, we have embarked on a journey together to build an alliance that represents the needs and values of our neighborhoods,” Burke told supporters. “Today, we stand victorious, but this is not my victory alone. This is a triumph by a community of people working together to enact positive change for all of us. I am humbled by this moment and will strive to realize our vision as the next Assemblymember for the 62nd AD."
Jerome Horton, Chairman of the Board of Equalization, 4th District, was re-elected with more than 61 percent of the vote. "I am grateful to the upward one million citizens who voted in the Board of Equalization District 3 election. I appreciate the blessing I've received, positioning us to continue to strengthen the weakest links and our most venerable citizens as we strive to make our economy and communities stronger," he said.
Inglewood voters will cast ballots again next month during a special election for the state Senate. Democrat Isadore Hall is the forerunner in the race for the 35th District, which includes Inglewood. The election is set for December 9 to replace former Sen. Roderick Wright.
“Mayor Butts is a serious change maker,” said homemaker Paula Lee. “He is what this city needs.” The ambitious mayor reminded well-wishers, “We’ve only just begun. The best is yet to come.”
PLEASE PUT in BOX
Local Election Results:
James Butts 83.40%
Mike Stevens 9.49%
Gil Matheiu 4.47%
Sandie Crisp 2.63%
Assemblymember, 62nd District
Autumn Burke 75.7%
Ted J. Grose 24.3%
Member, Board of Equalization, 4th District
Jerome Horton 61.8%
G. Rick Martin 38.2%
Jeffrey Prang 50.5%
John Morris 49.5%
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Tom Torlakson 52.1%
Marshall Tuck 47.9%
L.A. County Sheriff
John McDonnell 74.8%
Paul Tanaka 25.2%
Burke Photo Credits: Mitchell Creative Media