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Los Angeles mayoral election: Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel to face off in May runoff

March 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Two City Hall veterans will face off in a May runoff election to replace Antonio Villaraigosa as Los Angeles mayor.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, City Councilman Eric Garcetti had 33 percent of the vote and City Controller Wendy Greuel had 29 percent of the vote. Jan Perry and Kevin James each had 16 percent.

See all election results for city of Los Angeles races

The two-person runoff election will take place May 21. Both candidates are going into the runoff feeling confident they'll come out on top.

"We have a ton of momentum," Garcetti said in a speech Wednesday. "We are tested, we are ready, we're ready to knock on as many doors as it takes, to make as many phone calls and to greet as many voters face-to-face as it takes to win this race."

Garcetti promised to reinvigorate the creative juices in the city of Los Angeles.

"Leadership, we understood, doesn't just exist up here at a podium but it's out there on the streets. It's every block and every street and every neighborhood in this city that is waiting to be unleashed," Garcetti told a group of supporters in North Hollywood Tuesday night. "The creativity and the genius that is Los Angeles, we will bring back, and that's what I'm going to do as the next mayor of Los Angeles."

At a Wednesday campaign event in Atwater Village, Garcetti talked about fixing Los Angeles one block at a time.

"I want City Hall to focus on doing the hard but essential work of turning around our neighborhood and in turn, improving our city. Fighting crime, creating jobs, fixing our streets and our sidewalks, making a difference block, neighborhood by neighborhood across an entire city," he said.

Greuel touched on how her win would make city history.

"We are 11 weeks from making history, electing the first woman mayor, and of course, first mom for the mayor of the greatest city of Los Angeles," Greuel told a group of supporters.

The next mayor will be facing big challenges, including dealing with Los Angeles' $200 million budget deficit.

"When we get the economy back, of course it will be easier to restore services, but we're not out of the woods yet," Garcetti said.

Wednesday morning, Greuel also spoke on the city's massive budget hole. She says she has a plan to fix it.

"My opponent would suggest there isn't any waste in Los Angeles, that there is nothing that we can do to get back some money as we go forward that can go for the kinds of services for police and fire and all the other services that we provide to the residents of Los Angeles," Greuel said at a campaign event in the San Fernando Valley. "I know there is, and I know that as the next mayor, I'm going to lead the city to make that happen."

Greuel also talked about bringing businesses back to Los Angeles.

"We need to make L.A. a global destination for businesses. The only way that happens is with the leadership from the top, because I'm going to be a mayor for all of Los Angeles so we can get everyone back to work," Greuel said. "As we look to the future of our economy, we must focus on how we're going to track jobs in L.A. and make L.A. an incubator for businesses. Making sure when someone wants to try something different, we can actually make it work."

Greuel was endorsed Wednesday by one of the city's most powerful public employee unions: Service Employees International Union Local 721. That endorsement is in addition to one by the Department of Water and Power union, which already spent nearly $2 million supporting her during the primary.

Along with mayor, voters also had to pick a new city attorney and city controller. Both of those races will also be heading to the May runoff, pitting Former Assemblyman Mike Feuer against incumbent Carmen Trutanich for city attorney and Dennis Zine against Ron Galperin for city controller.

As for the City Council, the seat for District 1 appears to be headed for a runoff. Gil Cedillo was in the lead with 49 percent over Jose Gardea's 43 percent as of Wednesday night.

For District 3, Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield avoided a runoff to fill Zine's seat. Blumenfield received nearly 52 percent of the vote over second place Joyce Pearson's 20 percent.

Councilman Paul Koretz, who represents District 5, was one of two incumbents who had no problem keeping their seats, earning 74 percent of the vote.

In District 7, Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes also earned just enough votes to declare victory, earning 51 percent to replace termed-out Richard Alarcon. Nicole Chase was second with 27 percent.

Los Angeles voters also shot down Proposition A, a half-cent sales tax increase to ease the city's budget deficit. With all precincts reporting, the proposition was voted down 55 percent to 45 percent.

See all election results for city of Los Angeles races

On Wednesday night, Garcetti was welcomed by comedian and "Dancing With The Stars" contestant D.L. Hughley for a discussion in Leimert Park about the runoff ahead. Only 16 percent of Angelenos voted in the primary.

"With 16 percent turnout, we probably have more people here than turn out to the polls," Hughley joked.


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