In a surprising turn of events in the race for CD14, candidate Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in the early hours of Friday , November 3. While friends and family wondered if Carrillo was okay, others took to social media in a judgement frenzy, some calling for Carrillo to forfeit the competition, others showing support hoping she would learn from her mistake.
According to online booking records from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Carrillo, aged 43, was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department at around 1:30 a.m. She was subsequently booked into jail shortly after 4 a.m. Carrillo has publicly acknowledged the incident, confirming that she had crashed into parked vehicles after sneezing and losing control of the wheel prior to her arrest. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident, and she has been cooperating with law enforcement.
In a statement released following her arrest, Carrillo expressed remorse for her actions, acknowledging the need for personal accountability as a public servant. She extended apologies to her family, constituents, colleagues, and staff, recognizing that her actions fell short of the expectations placed on public officials. Carrillo also announced her intention to seek the necessary help and support while remaining dedicated to her constituents and community.
This incident has the potential to impact the Los Angeles City Council race significantly. Carrillo is among a group of Democrats vying to unseat Council member Kevin de León, who is facing a challenging reelection bid following a leaked racist audio scandal that tarnished his reputation within his own party. Notably, two of de León’s former colleagues in the state Legislature, Carrillo and Democratic Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, are now competing to replace him.
Carrillo’s candidacy has been centered on her deep roots in the eastern Los Angeles district, particularly in Boyle Heights. Her rivalry with Santiago has divided the Assembly Democratic caucus, with endorsements split between the two candidates. Santiago, in addition to garnering support from some legislative figures, has also gained endorsements from key labor and business groups in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, the city’s progressive faction, including sitting Council member Eunisses Hernandez, has rallied behind Ysabel Jurado, a tenant’s rights lawyer, further complicating the race’s dynamics.
As the Los Angeles City Council race unfolds, Carrillo’s DUI arrest serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of politics and the potential for personal actions to impact electoral outcomes. The coming months will determine how this development influences the contest and whether Carrillo can maintain her resilience and continue to compete for a seat on the council.