LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The race for the mayor of Los Angeles will be a close one, according to early returns from the city clerk’s office.
With 56 percent of precincts reporting, Controller Wendy Greuel had 46.47 percent of the vote compared to Eric Garcetti’s 54 percent.
Half the vote was predicted to come from mail-in ballots, as turnout from the polls was less than stellar.
Garcetti thanked his backers at the Hollywood Palladium late Tuesday night.
“The results aren’t all in, but this is shaping up to be a great night. Let me start by saying thank you. Thank you to the thousands of you who volunteered in this campaign. And thank you to the voters of Los Angeles, who tonight, voted for strong independent leadership to lead this city forward,” he said.
Garcetti continued, “All of you out there, watching on TV and up here, have made this possible. We didn’t have the most money, or the biggest named endorsements, but we had something more important. We had a people-powered campaign. We had a commitment with that people power to let the voters of Los Angeles choose the next mayor.”
The councilman also gave thanks to his opponent.
“I want to thank Wendy Greuel for her dedication to public service. She has given her professional life to making this city a better place. And I know she’ll continue on that mission,” Garcetti said.
Greuel also addressed a number of her supporters at Exchange LA, a downtown nightclub.
“No one said it was going to be easy or quick, but when you’re playing the championship of Los Angeles politics, sometimes the game goes into overtime. There is no one I’d rather have on my side when the game is close than Magic Johnson,” said Greuel. “The pressure is on until overtime victory is ours.”
Greuel said she knows more ballots will need to be counted.
“We know we’re not going to know tonight, probably we’re not going to know for a while,” she said.
If elected, Garcetti, 42, would become the first Jewish mayor of Los Angeles. Greuel, 51, would be the first woman to hold the title.