L.A. Mayor's Race: Garcetti and Greuel Appear Headed for Runoff
UPDATED: Members of the entertainment industry can expect new invites to fundraisers before the second round on May 21.
Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti and Controller Wendy Greuel appeared headed for a runoff on Tuesday as the two ran neck-and-neck in the city's mayoral primary.
With results slowly trickling in throughout the evening, Greuel and Garcetti were the clear frontrunners among a field of five candidates, but neither appeared able to capture the 51 percent necessary to win the election outright. As of 11 pm LA time, with about 20 percent of the ballots counted, Garcetti was leading the race with 63,108 votes, or about 34.38 percent. Greuel was close behind with 53,132 votes, or 28.94 percent.
Councilwoman Jan Perry was a distant third, with 30,716 votes. Kevin James, the only Republican in the race, had captured 26,141 votes.
Garcetti and Greuel addressed their supporters late in the evening, urging them to gear up for an 11-week fight until the May 21 municipal runoff. Given that their policy preferences and records are virtually identical, both candidates will have to put on extensive advertising blitzes to distinguish themselves.
Since Garcetti and Greuel have relied so heavily on contributions from Hollywood, members of the entertainment industry can expect a raft of new invites to fundraisers.
Both candidates have won endorsements from some of Hollywood’s leading figures and activists. Michael Eisner and Jane Fonda endorsed Garcetti, while Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen contributed $50,000 each to a union-backed independent expenditure committee supporting former DreamWorks executive Greuel’s candidacy.
"The campaign sort of begins over again, with the candidates having to now define themselves versus only each other," said longtime Hollywood political consultant Donna Bojarsky. "Frankly, as a political gal and an LA booster, I'm delighted that this mayoral race might bring more industry players to think about LA's future."
A Garcetti representative said the results show strong support for his candidate. "It was a great night," said Sony executive Eric Paquette, who is serving as Garcetti's finance chairman. "The people of Los Angeles have given a resounding victory and are very excited about seeing Eric in the mayor's office, but there is still plenty of work ahead."