Neither Controller Wendy Gruel nor City Councilman Eric Garcetti garnered enough votes by Tuesday night to avoid a runoff in May to become Los Angeles’ next mayor. Councilwoman Jan Perry was in 3rd place followed by Kevin James, a former U.S. assistant attorney. Now, Gruel, who had 29 percent promises to open up funds for the city by eliminating waste and fraud while Garcetti who gained 34 percent promises more jobs.
`You know, ladies and gentlemen, we are just 11 weeks from electing a mayor for all of Los Angeles so no part of our city is left behind,” Gruel told her potential constituents Tuesday night.
“And yes, we’re 11 weeks from making history, electing the first woman mayor, and of course, first mom for the mayor of the greatest city.”
According to news reports, Garcetti’s speech revolved around job creation, responsible budget cuts and pension reform, “so that so that we could protect core services that people depend on in our neighborhoods.”
Those things, he said, are what made him an effective councilman in his 13th district.
“It’s why this district is ranked number one by the Chamber of Commerce in job growth in the midst of a recession,” he told reporters and his supporters Tuesday. “I’d like to say we accomplished this because of great leadership, but we didn’t, at least not in the singular sense. We did it because 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…”
Meanwhile, candidates pleaded with citizens to line up at their polling places, which seemed to be almost empty throughout the day.
“Please go out and vote,” Gruel said while casting her own vote earlier Tuesday.
“It is important. Your everyday lives are impacted by who is on the ballot today.”
Said one voter, commenting on Huffington Post, “I am completely for moving all elections to a 4 year cycle at the same time! The House should be 4 years so no constant re-election. The Senate should be 4 years all at once. Mayors should all be the same year. Make election day a national holiday and get people out to vote and care…”
But some residents said it wasn’t apathy that kept them away but a seeming lack of choices.
“Los Angeles will once again have nobody to blame but themselves as they will just vote into office one of the same idiots who has helped push the city into near bankruptcy,” Brian Cooper wrote on Los Angeles Daily News’ website.
“Both Greuel and Garcetti,” he said, “are corrupt tax stealing thieves who couldn’t care less about the people of Los Angeles. Eight years of the dolt Villaraigosa hasn’t enlightened the majority of the citizens of L.A. at all…”
For his part, exiting mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who cast his vote at the Wilshire United Methodist Church told reporters that he “wished he could run for a third term.” He also urged Angelenos to come out to the polls, telling them to “start believing in this city.”
“This is a great city,” he said. “There’s a lot to celebrate in this town,” like crime reduction and new development in downtown and Hollywood.
He promised to work hard until July 1, his last day in office.