Long Beach Mayor-Elect Rex Richardson, Price Concedes
By Dianne Anderson
Voter ballots haven’t been fully tallied yet, which is just a formality now for Rex Richardson, who is ready to take the Long Beach Mayor’s seat following Tuesday’s concession of Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price.
Throughout the race, he continued to hold a strong lead against Price. As of Tuesday, November 15, Richardson came in with the semi-final results at 55.29% to Price at 44.71%. County election officials must certify results by December 8.
Mayor-Elect Rex Richardson comes to the seat with the historic distinction of being the city’s first Black Mayor in one of the largest metro areas in the nation.
“Long Beach voters had a choice between two public servants who have worked every day to make our communities a better place to work, live, and raise a family,” stated Mayor-Elect Richardson. “I want to commend Councilmember Suzie Price for sharing her ideas for the future of our city. She and I share a love for Long Beach and want to ensure every resident is safe and thriving. I look forward to collaborating with her and her supporters to unify our city and move us forward. As Long Beach’s next Mayor, I will focus on tackling our city’s biggest challenges and working daily to make City Hall more responsive to residents’ needs. I look forward to getting started with our transition.”
Voters are not expecting any learning curve or surprises with Richardson, who was elected to city council in 2014, and two years later, elected as Long Beach Vice Mayor. He was re-elected to Long Beach City Council in 2018.
During his Mayoral campaign, Richardson spoke of being a mayor for all of Long Beach, pursuing inclusion and the spirit of unity in the city, working together to overcome the challenges of divisiveness.
He has also distinguished himself from Price in his vision for the future. Richardson has a history of investing in libraries, community centers and youth programs to promote community safety. He also advocated facing air quality, and economic inequity challenges.
Over the years, he has invested time as a mentor with the 100 Black Men of Long Beach with its big focus on health and wellness for the Black community.
Strategies to deal with the economy during the pandemic was critical. As chair of the Long Beach Federal Legislative Committee, Richardson advocated for federal recovery dollars to help the city overcome significant challenges of COVID-19. On council, he led the charge on an economic recovery plan that pulled a $230 million investment through the Long Beach Recovery Act toward helping impacted families and businesses.
Other priorities to help underrepresented families and low-income communities of North, Central and West Long Beach food security came by way of the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion, a community development corporation that began under Richardson’s direction. The organization targets small business support, economic resiliency, technology, workforce and youth development.
Measure US also passed by Long Beach voters in 2020 was proposed by Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, an oil production tax to support youth development, public health and climate change.
In a recent interview with the Long Beach Leader, Richardson, who also serves as Chair of the Economic Development Committee and the Long Beach Housing Authority, emphasized his H.O.P.E. Plan for Housing first, Outreach, Pathways and Expanding mental health services. Along with his recovery plan, he said public safety and strategies for getting the unhoused off the streets are a priority. He wants to see more housing, more mental health services, and improved street level outreach to help the homeless.
He talked about the success of getting nearly all seniors vaccinated in the city, as well as opening up food pantries, food distributions and rent relief to keep people in their homes.
The latest Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters third post-Election Night ballot count update for the 2022 General Election reported that 77,429 ballots were processed since November 11, bringing the total election results count to 1,608,639. That number represents 28.58% of registered voters.
Outstanding ballots in the county to be processed are estimated at 739,300, which includes 718,000 Vote By Mail, 21,000 Conditional Voter Registration Ballots, and 300 Provisional ballots.
“The votes are still counted in all LA County races, including the Long Beach Mayor’s race. And, although there remain an unknown number of votes still to be tallied, the trend is going in the wrong direction for our campaign. It appears that the people of Long Beach have spoken and selected Vice Mayor Richardson as our next mayor. I wish him nothing but success on the journey ahead,” stated Councilmember Price on her Facebook page.
Last week, while everyone was awaiting the final count, Danielle Cendejas, consultant for Richardson’s campaign, said that they remained optimistic all along.
The city has 65% registered Democratic voters, and his progressive stance has resonated with voters, but she said his win is important not only for the people, but that the city is major in terms of significant assets.
His background underscores his dedication to making sure the community is never limited by where they live.
“He’s always been somebody who has worked on equity and ensuring that your future is not determined by the zip code that you live in, and trying to bring more resources to traditionally underserved communities. He is certainly someone who will continue to govern in that way as Mayor,” she said.
For the latest election results in Los Angeles County, see https://results.lavote.gov/