Eric Garcetti, a Jewish councilman with Mexican and Italian roots, won the race for Los Angeles mayor over Wendy Greuel to replace Antonio Villarraigosa.
According to results from the City Clerk's Office, with all precincts reporting Wednesday, Garcetti grabbed 54 percent of the votes against his fellow Democrat. Greuel had 46 percent.
"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," Garcetti tweeted.
Garcetti shares a Latino heritage with the outgoing mayor, but he has a far different resume than Villaraigosa, who will step down July 1 after serving eight years.
Garcetti is the son of a former district attorney who grew up in the San Fernando Valley's Encino enclave, attended Columbia University and enjoys playing jazz piano.
Despite record spending, turnout at polls were sluggish after a campaign that centered on the city's ailing economy and the influence of municipal unions. Only one of four voters in the nation's second-most populous city were projected to cast a ballot, possibly a historic low in a city known to shrug at local politics.
The lack of public interest ran counter to what's at stake. A key issue has been the city's shaky $7.7 billion budget and the prospect of living with less. Spending is projected to outpace revenue for years, and rising pension and retiree health care bills threaten money that could otherwise go to libraries, tree-trimming and street repairs. Villaraigosa urged his successor to try to block a 5.5 percent pay increase for civilian employees.
With so much common ground on policy, the race became a duel over character issues as well as a referendum on who was closer to politically powerful municipal unions often criticized for landing generous raises and benefits.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press
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