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After a two-year battle and millions of dollars spent, Eric Garcetti has won the Los Angeles mayor’s race against Wendy Greuel, carrying 54 percent of the vote.
With Greuel conceding shortly after 2 a.m., Garcetti tweeted his supporters: “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.”
A record $32 million was spent on the campaigns, with more than $2.5 million raised in the entertainment industry alone. Studio execs, agents and stars came out early for both candidates — each have long standing ties to Hollywood. Greuel, who worked as a high-level executive at DreamWorks before turning to city politics, received strong support from former bosses Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Garcetti, who represented geographic Hollywood and its industries on the city council, was backed by ex-Disney chief Michael Eisner, Peter Guber, Jim Berkus, Salma Hayek, Moby, Antonio Banderas and Jimmy Kimmel, among others.
A Los Angeles Times analysis showed that the two candidates had received donations from 3,681 people in the entertainment industry. More than $1.8 million was directly contributed to the candidates campaigns, while $707,800 in industry money was given to independent expenditure committees. Garcetti raised $1.4 million from people working in arts and entertainment, compared to Greuel’s $1.14 million.
Sony senior vp Eric Paquette, who served as Garcetti’s campaign finance chairman, said people in Hollywood were inspired by the candidate’s grass-roots activism. “Eric ran a flawless campaign that made people believe that they could participate in the future of this great city,” Paquette said early Wednesday. “This is a feeling that few voters have ever felt on a local level, which is a big reason why he won.”
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent his congratulations to Garcetti before daybreak.
“I have worked with Eric for many years to solve tough issues from balancing our budget to making LA a better place for business,” Villaraigosa said in a statement. “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.”
Villaraigosa also thanked Greuel “for her commitment to the people of Los Angeles.” He said he admired the city controller for her willingness to put her name on the ballot.
“Wendy, like Eric, is a dedicated public servant who I’ve worked with for many years,” Villaraigosa said. “She has devoted her career to making our city a better place, and I know she’ll continue to do so in the future.”
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