LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday for voters to choose Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s successor.
There are eight candidates in the race to lead the City of Angels:
• YJ Draiman, businessman and member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council
• Eric Garcetti, City Councilman for the 13th district and former City Council President
• Wendy Greuel, City Controller and former City Councilwoman for the 2nd district
• Kevin James, talk radio host and attorney
• Addie M. Miller, citywide advocate
• Jan Perry, City Councilwoman for the 9th district
• Emanuel Pleitez, chief strategy officer at Spokeo and former Villaraigosa aide
• Norton Sandler, factory worker
The top five candidates — Garcetti, Greuel, James, Perry and Pleitez — have participated in several television debates, including one on KCAL9, and spent millions of dollars in mailers and commercials.
“I want to make history here today, and I will be working all day until 8 o’clock tonight to make sure that our vote turns out to cast their vote for this historic election,” Perry said.
The latest USC Price/Los Angeles Times poll found Garcetti and Greuel to be the top two candidates with 27 percent and 25 percent of the vote, respectively.
“This is your civic opportunity and responsibility to get out and vote today, so I encourage everyone to do so,” Greuel said.
A clear majority is needed to win the contest and many analysts believe a runoff between the top two candidates will take place in May.
Once in office, the winner will have a long list of challenges to tackle including a looming deficit, a 10.2 percent unemployment rate, rising pension and healthcare costs and ailing schools.
“I’m making sure I do my part in being engaged civically, running for office and being able to represent our city and taking it in a new direction,” Pleitez said.
Voters Tuesday will also decide on Measure A, which would create a new half-cent sales tax in Los Angeles to support public safety services. Other races include: City Attorney, City Controller, eight City Council seats and three LAUSD Board seats.
“This is going to represent a huge new era in LA City government,” LA City Clerk June Lagmay said.
Low voter turnout is predicted Tuesday. The polls close at 8 p.m.
For more information, including polling locations and election night results, click here.