City Controller Wendy Greuel and city council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry are polling as the top three candidates in the race for Los Angeles mayor.
It's a big prize, costing big money. Independent supporters of Garcetti have started their own campaign to raise millions of dollars to counter Greuel's money.
"I think there's a real contrast though between the independent expenditure that is out there for my primary opponent, Controller Greuel, which comes from the DWP union, and one that comes from folks who've just been activists who love Los Angeles and have nothing to gain at City Hall," said Garcetti.
Greuel has raised at least $1 million from independent groups such as the police officers union and DWP employees. She has outspent Garcetti. Greuel was not available for comment on camera, but her campaign says she now has $2.9 million cash on hand for the campaign.
Councilwoman Jan Perry hasn't had the money or organization to match Greuel and Garcetti. But she has a well-known name.
"We have always budgeted with the money that I have raised," said Perry. "And I have more than enough money to run a very, very competitive campaign and the numbers that come in nightly and on our tracking polls show that I am doing very, very well," said Perry.
In our most recent Eyewitness News poll, Perry placed third behind Greuel and Garcetti.
Entertainment lawyer Kevin James supporters started airing ads Friday on the Internet. Former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan endorsed James for mayor. Riordan says he's "confident in Kevin's abilities to turn this city around. "I strongly encourage my fellow Angelenos to support him," said Riordan.
Candidate Emanuel Pleitez, who according to our polling is fifth in the race, says "our money is going into voter outreach ... nobody said it would be easy."
The campaigns expect the race will go into a runoff. And the two top finishers will face each other in May to determine who the next mayor will be.
The 2013 Los Angeles mayoral election is on May 21, 2013. A primary will be held on March 5, 2013.