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Polls open in Los Angeles as voters choose new mayor

March 5, 2013 |  7:34 am

Perry
Polls opened in Los Angeles at 7 a.m. today as voters decide who will replace Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and whether to increase the city’s sales tax.

The top mayoral candidates, including City Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti, oppose the sales tax increase, which is supported by Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

If Proposition A passes, the sales tax would go up from 9% to 9.5%, generating more than $200 million in annual revenue. Backers of the tax increase argue that more revenue is needed to protect public safety after years of cutbacks. Polls show a slim majority of voters are in favor of the measure.

Contenders in the race to replace Villaraigosa, who is terming out after eight years as the city’s first Latino mayor in modern times, have spent more than $19 million on media advertisements, campaign mailers and consultants.

In addition to a new mayor, Los Angeles voters will choose a city attorney, city controller and eight City Council members. Also on the ballot are three seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education and three seats on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees.

Thirty-three other cities in Los Angeles County are also holding local elections today.

Los Angeles city polling locations can be found at the city clerk website. Polls stay open until 8 p.m.

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-- Los Angeles Times staff

Photo: Jan Perry, Los Angeles city councilwoman and mayoral candidate, casts her ballot at the Bunker Hill Tower polling place on election morning. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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