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L.A. Mayoral Race

mayor-candidatesThe contest to replace Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appears to be a horse race between former City Council President Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Gruel.

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LOS ANGELES — Veteran Los Angeles councilman Eric Garcetti was sworn in as the city’s new mayor on Sunday evening.

The inauguration ceremony took place on the Spring Street steps outside City Hall.

A total of 11 new Los Angeles politicians were scheduled to be sworn in on Sunday, and Jimmy Kimmel was on the line up of speakers.

Outgoing mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who could not run for another term, was scheduled to officially leave office at midnight on Sunday.

Garcetti, 42, and his wife visited the First African Methodist Episcopal Church on Sunday morning.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Los Angeles had a new mayor-elect on Wednesday, as Eric Garcetti defeated Wendy Greuel, bringing an end to a long and expensive campaign.


L.A. mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti greets supporters at the Hollywood Palladium on Tuesday night. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times /May 21, 2013)

Greuel called Garcetti early Wednesday morning to concede the race, according to a Greuel campaign source.

Later, Gruel officially conceded during a speech At her Van Nuys office where she said,  referring to Garcetti. “Congratulations, I sincerely wish you the best.”

She was expected to officially concede the election in Van Nuys on Wednesday morning.

Click here for live election results

Greuel had enjoyed a slight edge over Garcetti during early returns on Tuesday, but as the night wore on, Garcetti’s lead grew.

He opened up an eight-point lead, and some time after 1:30 a.m., Greuel called Garcetti to congratulate him on his victory.

Just before 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Garcetti claimed victory in a post on Twitter.

“Thank you Los Angeles–the hard work begins but I am honored to lead this city for the next four years,” he said. “Let’s make this a great city again.”

In the end, Garcetti took home 54 percent of the vote compared to 46 percent for Greuel, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting.

Garcetti received only about 26,000 more votes than Greuel, but with the low voter turnout, that margin was enough for him to win.

Only about 19 percent of the registered voters in Los Angeles cast ballots in Tuesday’s election, according to the L.A. County Registrar.

Garcetti’s victory capped a nearly two-year campaign for the office, which saw more than $33 million spent on the race — the most expensive in city history.

Before his supporters at the Hollywood Palladium on Tuesday night, Garcetti was already looking forward.

“On July 1, we will assume the responsibility of creating jobs, of balancing our city’s budget, of keeping our city’s streets safe and improving the quality of life for all Angelenos,” he said.

Meantime, Greuel spent Tuesday night with her supporters in downtown Los Angeles.

She had hoped absentee ballots, which are sometimes counted later than ballots cast at polling places, would put her over the top, a campaign source said.

Garcetti is scheduled to take office on July 1. At 42 years old, he will be the youngest elected mayor in more than a century. He will also be the city’s first elected Jewish mayor.

After a long and expensive head-to-head campaign, early ballot totals showed Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti locked in a close battle.

With 7.5% of precinct reporting, Greuel had a small lead with 51 percent of the vote, compared to Garcetti’s 49 percent.

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With the election just one day away, Los Angeles mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel were courting last-minute votes on Monday.
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LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — With the election just one day away, Los Angeles mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel were courting last-minute votes on Monday.


Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti campaigned for votes.

Garcetti made an early-morning campaign stop greeting longshore workers in Wilmington, while Greuel met with voters at a Starbucks in Valley Village.

Both had a full day of appearances scheduled criss-crossing the city.

On Sunday, the two candidates campaigned in churches, focusing particularly on African-American voters, who polls show have tended to favor Greuel, the city controller.

Greuel made 10 campaign stops from San Pedro to Studio City, including appearances at four black churches.

Garcetti visited seven African-American churches, among them First AME Church.

Greuel has enjoyed a financial advantage in the race becasue of massive expenditures by organized labor, but she has struggled to pull even with City Councilman Garcetti.

She still lagged 7 percentage points behind Garcetti, 41 percent to 48 percent, according to the latest USC Price/Times poll released on Saturday night.

The poll also showed that 11 percent of voters remained undecided.

Less than 21 percent of the city’s 1.8 million eligible voters cast ballots in March.

Turnout for runoff elections is typically higher, according to analysts, but the turnout was still expected to be low.

The winner will replace mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and will oversee nearly $8 billion a year in spending. The candidates have spent some $33 million on their campaigns.

The polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and close at 8 p.m. To find your polling place or for more information, visit

LOS ANGELES — One day after voters soundly rejected a proposal to raise the city’s sales tax by half a cent, the city’s chief budget officer said officials have begun looking at new ways to cut the city’s budget.

“Everything has to be put back on the table, from the size of the police force to the restoration of fire services to the paving of our streets,” said Miguel Santana, who added that he hopes to have budget-cut options for council members to consider before the week is out.

“What the voters have said is … they are expecting us to solve 100% of the problem now, without new revenue,” Santana said.

Measure A, which would have raised Los Angeles’ sales tax to 9.5%, one of the highest in the state, was opposed by 55% of the voters.

Glen Walker reports.

LOS ANGELES — City Councilman Eric Garcetti edged past Controller Wendy Greuel in Tuesday’s primary election, emerging as the top vote-getter in one of the lowest turnouts in memory, moving the race to a May runoff between the City Hall veterans.

Garcetti received 33% in an unofficial count of ballots, compared with 29% for Greuel, a four-point advantage that Garcetti said he would immediately build upon in a dash to the May 21 general election.

“I’m ready to get up as early as it takes,” Garcetti told cheering supporters gathered at Avalon nightclub in Hollywood late Tuesday as the primary results became clear. “Tomorrow we’re going to get up, we’re going to get to work, and we’re going to win this campaign.”

Greuel wasn’t conceding anything, telling her own supporters that she would emerge victorious by focusing on a plan for delivering core services that have been lacking, such as fixing Los Angeles streets and reducing emergency response times.

She also hit a campaign theme that is sure to take prominence in the weeks ahead.

“We’re 11 weeks from making history, electing the first woman mayor,” Greuel said. “And, of course, the first mom.”

On Wednesday, the Service Employees International Union 721, which represents 10,000 city workers, endorsed Greuel.

The union did not endorse a candidate in Tuesday’s election. She is already supported by the union representing Department of Water and Power workers.

Turnout of the 1.8 million registered voters in the city was an anemic 16%, far below the 34% seen when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa won office in 2005.

Election officials, however, said that uncounted mail-in ballots may boost turnout and change vote totals in the days ahead.

Los Angeles voters elected three new City Council members and returned two incumbents to office.

Candidates in three other council races did not get at least 50% of the vote, and the top two finishers in those contests will face off in May.

In the city attorney’s race, former Assemblyman Mike Feuer led incumbent City Atty. Carmen Trutanich with 44% of the vote, not enough to win outright.

And the controller’s race moves to a matchup between City Councilman Dennis Zine and Ron Galperin, a lawyer and city commissioner, with each taking 37% of the vote.

Angelenos turned down Proposition A, a half-cent sales tax hike, with 55% voting against it and 45% in favor.

Finding ways to close the city’s chronic budget shortfalls without the revenue, estimated at $1 billion over the next five years, is sure to dominate the mayoral and council campaigning that remains.

Former Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield won 52% of the vote to win the 3rd district seat representing Reseda, Canoga Park and Woodland Hills.

On the opposite side of the San Fernando Valley, former Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes squeaked past three challengers with 51% of the vote to win the 7th district seat representing Arleta, Pacoima and Sunland-Tujunga.

In the 11th district, Mike Bonin, longtime chief of staff to outgoing Councilman Bill Rosendahl, easily beat out his competitors with 61% of the vote.

Two City Council incumbents, Paul Koretz and Joe Buscaino, easily won reelection.

Three City Council races remain undecided. In the 1st district, former California Sen. Gil Cedillo, with 49% of the vote, will face off with Jose Gardea, outgoing Councilman Ed Reyes’ chief deputy.

In the 9th district being vacated by Councilwoman Jan Perry, State Sen. Curren Price captured 27% of the vote and will face Ana Cubas, who received 24%, in May.

The most competitive council race was the free for all in the 13th district, representing the Hollywood and Silverlake areas.

Mitch O’Farrell, a senior advisor to the outgoing Garcetti, was the top vote getter with 18%. He advances to the runoff against John Choi, who formerly sat on the city’s Board of Public Works. Choi polled 16% of the vote.

In the Los Angeles Unified School District board races, Monica Garcia and Steve Zimmer won election to two seats and a third, district No. 6, moves to a runoff between Antonio Sanchez, an educator, and teacher Monica Ratliff.

Mike Eng easily won election to the Los Angeles Community College District board, with 64% of the vote, as did Ernest Moreno with 67%.

A third college board seat moves to a runoff between David Vela and Nancy Pearlman.

As with most elections, the ballots still to be tallied consist of vote-by-mail ballots, including some that were turned in on election day, as well as provisional and damaged ballots.

Still, Garcetti and Greuel hold seemingly insurmountable leads over the next closest finishers — attorney Kevin James and Councilwoman Jan Perry — who appeared to be in a dead heat for third place, the vote count showed.

Emanuel Pleitez on Tuesday night conceded defeat as early returns showed he was capturing just a sliver of the vote.

-Los Angeles Times

Sara Welch is live with Wendy Greuel’s supporters as they gather for election night festivities.

Mary Beth McDade is live as the Garcetti campaign awaits the latest results in the race for L.A. Mayor.