Eric Garcetti is 42 years old, the youngest mayor of Los Angeles in more than a century, and he will be the city's first Jewish mayor. He's also the first to have grown up in the San Fernando Valley. Garcetti won with 53.9 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Wendy Greuel, with 100 percent of precincts counted. That eight points mirrors the margin predicted by Tuesday's Loyola Marymount University exit poll. In the battle of the polls, the USC-Times poll that showed a wide lead for Garcetti appear to have gotten the voter sample correct. The other polls showing a dead heat for Greuel ahead appear to have been off in their sample. Tough to sample in LA when so people vote and so many tell pollsters that they will vote.
At the Garcetti party at the Hollywood Palladium, Sam and Dave's "Hold On I'm Coming" blasted when Garcetti came in before midnight to tell supporters the early numbers looked good. He was joined by his wife, Amy Wakeland, his father Gil Garcetti, and by the defeated mayoral candidates who endorsed him: Kevin James, Jan Perry and Emanuel Pleitez. "I say to you this: Tonight is just the beginning," Garcetti shouted. "Our work has just begun. Tomorrow we roll up our sleeves and we get to work rebuilding a great Los Angeles. Thank you Los Angeles. Onward."
Greuel called Garcetti in the early morning to concede and offer congratulations. A photo of the call was posted to Facebook by an aide. Garcetti then took to Twitter:
Thank you Los Angeles--the hard work begins but I am honored to lead this city for the next four years. Let's make this a great city again.— Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti) May 22, 2013
Greuel has called a 10 a.m. news conference at her headquarters in Van Nuys to address the election results.
The voters also kicked City Attorney Carmen Trutanich out of office after one term, replacing him with former city councilman Mike Feuer. Feuer got 62.1 percent of the vote in the initial count, to 37.8 for Trutanich.
Newcomer Ron Galperin also pulled a surprise in the race for city controller and defeated councilman Dennis Zine. Galperin got 56.2 percent to Zine's 43.7.
The new members of the City Council look to be veteran state lawmakers Gil Cedillo (CD 1) and Curren Price (CD 9), and former Garcetti aide Mitch O'Farrell (CD 13), although the races remain close and with so few voters taking part the results could shift during the final count. In the Valley's 6th district, Cindy Montañez got the most votes in the special election primary and faces Nury Martinez in the July 23 runoff. Until that winner is seated, as of July 1 there will be no female members of the Los Angeles City Council. For the first time in awhile, there will be no women in any elected City Hall post.
Voters agreed to restrictions on medical marijuana outlets and passed Measure D, 62 percent to 37 percent. Rival Measure F lost with a 59 percent no vote.
In the race for school board, Monica Ratliff appears to have defeated Antonio Sanchez with 51.8 percent of the vote. Nancy Pearlman got 57.1 to return to the college board.
Mayor Villaraigosa, who never took a public position on the mayoral race, despite many on his staff backing Greuel and some for Garcetti, released a statement early this morning:
I would like to congratulate my friend Eric Garcetti on his victory.
I have worked with Eric for many years to solve tough issues from balancing our budget to making LA a better place for business. Eric’s leadership as Council President and his turnaround of the neighborhoods in the thirteenth district are positive indicators of the work he will do as mayor.
Eric is a true leader who I trust to guide our city into its bright future. I know I am leaving Los Angeles in good hands. I look forward to working with Eric and his team over the next month for a seamless transition so that we can keep Los Angeles moving in the right direction.
I also want to thank Wendy Greuel for her commitment to the people of Los Angeles and admire her for being willing to put her name on the ballot. Wendy, like Eric, is a dedicated public servant who I've worked with for many years. She has devoted her career to making our city a better place, and I know she'll continue to do so in the future."
Garcetti and wife Amy Wakeland in Hollywood on election night in photo released by his campaign.