Garcetti, Greuel ahead in early voting for L.A. mayor
Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti jumped to early leads in the L.A. mayor's race, setting the stage for a runoff.
Along with a substantial chunk of mail-in ballots, city elections officials have tallied votes from just under 10% of precincts--a sliver of the ballots likely to be cast in Tuesday’s elections.
Opinion polls cast Garcetti and Greuel as the front-runners in the race which, by all indications, will probably be decided in a May runoff between the top-two finishers.
Councilwoman Jan Perry captured enough votes in the early returns to hold onto third place, with attorney Kevin James, the only Republican in the race, slightly behind her.
In the race for city attorney, former Assemblyman Mike Feuer and incumbent Carmen Trutanich were locked in a tight contest. City Councilman Dennis Zine was leading in the race for city controller
A measure to add a half-cent to the city’s sales tax continued to trail in early returns. The measure, Proposition A, would bring sales taxes in Los Angeles to 9.5%, one of the highest rates in the state, and raise $200 million a year for the city treasury.
In another citywide contest, three-term Councilman Dennis Zine and lawyer Ron Galperin appeared to be headed for a runoff in the race for controller. Four other candidates, including marketing executive Cary Brazeman, were well behind.
In the slew of races for Los Angeles City Council, incumbents Paul Koretz on the Westside and Joe Buscaino in the Harbor district jumped out to major leads, according to an early tally .
Eight of the City Council’s 15 seats are up for grabs, setting the stage for the most dramatic change on the city’s legislative body in a dozen years. With incumbents stepping down in six of those eight races, dozens of candidates stepped forward to seek seats on the council.
Before the polls opened Tuesday, the city clerk’s office had received 148,846 mail-in ballots from voters in the city, or 8.2% of the total number of registered voters. More voters voted by mail than in the first round of either the 2001 or 2005 city elections, but there are also many more residents who received mail ballots this year than in those elections.
Of the total 663,086 mail-in ballots issued this year, 22.4% had been returned by the start of election day. In 2001 and 2005, a much higher percentage of ballots — about half — had been returned by election day. But the city sent out only about 200,000 mail ballots in each of those elections.
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--Phil Willon and James Rainey