Los Angeles mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel looked set for a run-off vote after a Tuesday primary election, in a race that has seen the two Democrats vow to slash business taxes to help the city rebound from a persistent economic slump.
The non-partisan election in the nation’s second-largest city was held to narrow the field of candidates, with the top two contenders advancing, as expected, to a final vote in May.
With about 90 percent of precincts reporting, Garcetti, a Los Angeles city council official, was ahead with 33 percent of the vote compared with 29.3 percent for Greuel, the city’s controller. In pre-election polling, both candidates led consistently against their six rivals on the ballot.
The eventual winner will succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is one of the United States’ most high-profile Latino politicians and chaired the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He is barred from running again after two terms in office.
“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,” Garcetti told supporters at a Hollywood nightclub.
At her election-night event at a downtown bar, Greuel told supporters Los Angeles would eventually choose her as its first woman mayor.
“Los Angeles deserves tough and strong leadership, a leader tough enough to weed out waste, fraud and abuse at City Hall and bring our fiscal house in order. I am that leader,” she told the crowd.
Trailing both in recent pre-election polls were former talk-show host Kevin James, a Republican, and city council official Jan Perry, a Democrat.
In preliminary ballot results, James had 16.3 percent of the vote count compared with 15.8 percent for Perry.