Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel Will Clash for Los Angeles Mayor

Both in Run-Off Have Jewish Family Ties

Jew v. (Married to) Jew: Eric Garcetti won a non-partisan primary election for mayor of Los Angeles. He will face Wendy Greuel in a run-off in May.
getty images
Jew v. (Married to) Jew: Eric Garcetti won a non-partisan primary election for mayor of Los Angeles. He will face Wendy Greuel in a run-off in May.

By Reuters

Published March 06, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Multi Page

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.

A USC Price/Los Angeles Times poll conducted late last month showed Garcetti and Greuel to be clear front-runners but found considerable fluidity remaining in the electorate.

Reflecting that lack of conviction, voter Mary Milelzcik, 64, said she cast her primary ballot for Greuel. “But I don’t know if I’ll vote for her in the final runoff. I’ll need more information about how she’s going to get things done.”

SEEKING TO GIVE BUSINESSES A BREAK

The city’s sluggish economy and bleak fiscal outlook are likely to overshadow other issues preoccupying the next mayor, and they have loomed large in the campaign.

Garcetti and Greuel oppose a proposed Villaraigosa-backed half-cent sales tax hike and have both called for cuts in business taxes to promote economic growth, even as the city scrimps to plug a budget hole set to top $1 billion over the next four years.

The commercial tax structure that Garcetti and Greuel vow to phase out is known as the gross receipts tax, and it varies by type of business. Internet-based companies, for instance, are taxed at $1 per $1,000 in receipts, while professional service firms pay $5 per $1,000.

The two front-runners were separated in the USC Price poll by just 2 percentage points - 27 percent for Garcetti to 25 percent for Greuel - despite sharp differences in their political pedigree and backgrounds.

Garcetti, 42, who served as council president from 2006 to 2011, is known as a consensus builder who has touted his record on environmental initiatives and his role in the urban revival of once-blighted areas of Hollywood.

A onetime Rhodes scholar, he is also the son of former Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti, who was the city’s top prosecutor during the murder trial of O.J. Simpson.

Greuel, 51, in her current role as controller is tasked with uncovering waste and fraud, while in her former position on the council she was known as the “Pothole Queen” for her dedication to street repair in her suburban district.

She served as a deputy mayor in the administration of late former Mayor Tom Bradley.

Garcetti and Greuel have led the field in fundraising by pulling in more than $4 million in contributions each, according to campaign records from the city. But Greuel, a former DreamWorks executive, has received an extra boost in over $2 million spent independently on her behalf, records show.

Most of that comes from a group called Working Californians to Elect Wendy Greuel that is backed, in large part, by city employee unions.

Outside groups and individuals have set a record by spending more than $4.8 million for or against the mayoral candidates and the contenders for other city offices.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.