With a criminal trial pending, Councilman Richard Alarcón on Tuesday saw his 19-year political career come to a close - for now - when he was defeated by a former aide for a seat in the state Assembly.
Alarcón, who received 33,633 votes for 41.5 percent of the vote, was topped by Raul Bocanegra, who received 47,419 votes for 58.5 percent, in the race for the 39th Assembly seat.
"I feel blessed to have had nearly 20 years in office and I'm looking forward to my last eight months in office," Alarcón said. "The people let you know when they feel it's time for a change."
The main issue in the race was the criminal case filed against Alarcón and his wife, Flora Montes de Oca, for allegedly not living within his City Council district.
Bocanegra, an aide to outgoing Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, said his election represents the desire for change in the community.
"The people of the northeast Valley spoke loud and clear tonight and they made it clear they are hungry for change," Bocanegra said. "They want new leaders who aren't going to toe the line, but are willing to fight the status quo to bring the resources we desperately need to our communities."