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Los Angeles, California mayoral election, 2013

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A Los Angeles mayoral election took place on May 21, 2013 to elect the 42nd mayor of the City of Los Angeles. Eric Garcetti defeated Wendy Greuel in the election.

A primary election was held on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. On March 5, no candidate received "50% + 1" vote. Therefore, a runoff election took place on May 21 between the top two vote-getters from the March 5 primary.

The outgoing mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, will finish his second term in the city's mayoral office in June, and was ineligible to run for a third term because of the city's mayoral term limits. This meant no incumbent appeared on the ballot; the 2013 election marked just the third time in 75 years that there would be no incumbent on the mayoral ballot.[1]

The position of mayor of Los Angeles is non-partisan, as per Section 6 of Article II of the California Constitution. Mayors of the City of Los Angeles serve four-year terms, according to the city's charter (Article II, Section 205) and may serve no more than two terms (Article II, Section 206).[2]

Eric Garcetti, took office on June 30, 2013.[3]

On the same March 5 ballot as the mayoral primary, there was also a primary election for 3 seats on the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as a vote on the Proposition A sales tax increase and on Proposition B, relating to a change in pensions.

Election results

General Election

Mayor of Los Angeles, General Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngEric Garcetti 54.2% 222,300
     Nonpartisan Wendy Greuel 45.8% 187,609
Total Votes 409,909
Source: Los Angeles City Clerk


Mayor of Los Angeles, Primary, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Jan Perry 15.9% 58,472
     Nonpartisan Emanuel Pleitez 4.1% 15,263
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngEric Garcetti 33.1% 121,930
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngWendy Greuel 29% 106,748
     Nonpartisan Addie M. Miller 0.5% 1,810
     Nonpartisan Kevin James 16.3% 60,154
     Nonpartisan Norton Sandler 0.5% 2,002
     Nonpartisan Yehuda "Yj" Draiman 0.4% 1,543
Total Votes 367,922
Source: Los Angeles City Clerk (dead link)


March 5 primary

The candidates who qualified to be on the mayoral primary ballot on March 5, 2013, in alphabetical order, were:

  • Yehuda "Yj" Draiman, a Neighborhood Council Secretary for the Northridge Neighborhood Council.
  • Eric Garcetti, a member of the Los Angeles City Council.[4]
  • Wendy Greuel, the Los Angeles City Controller.[5]
  • Kevin James, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney[6]
  • Addie M. Miller
  • Jan Perry, a member of the Los Angeles City Council.[4]
  • Emanuel Pleitez, a tech company executive[6]
  • Norton Sandler, a member of the Socialist Workers Party.

May 21 general

The two candidates on the May 21 general election ballot were:



Retail giant Wal-Mart showed interest in building a store in Chinatown. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor lobbied the mayoral candidates not to take any campaign funding from Wal-Mart. Garcetti, Greuel and Perry announced that they would reject any campaign donations from Wal-Mart itself. Garcetti has received some donations from Wal-Mart employees, including a $100 check from Javier Angulo, Wal-Mart's director of community affairs. A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor objected to that, saying, "It is one thing if a Wal-Mart cashier or warehouse worker makes a contribution to a candidate. It's a different kind of political contribution altogether when a senior-level representative of Wal-Mart who is actively organizing for a Wal-Mart store in Chinatown writes the check. Wal-Mart money is Wal-Mart money." [7]

Sales tax increase

See also: City of Los Angeles Sales Tax Increase, Proposition A (March 2013)

Perry, Garcetti, Greuel, James and Dramain opposed Proposition A, the City of Los Angeles Sales Tax Increase that was on the March 5, 2013 ballot.

Proposition A was defeated, but if it had been approved, it would have increased the sales tax on the purchase of goods and services made within the city by half-a-cent.[8] On January 1, due to the Proposition 30 sales tax increase, the sales tax in the city went to 9%. It would have gone to 9.5% for city residents on July 1, 2013 if they had approved Proposition A.[9]

Pension reform

See also: proposed City of Los Angeles Pension Reform Initiative

A City of Los Angeles Pension Reform Initiative was at one time a possible contender for the May 21, 2013 ballot. However, the effort to qualify it for the ballot was ended short of qualification.[10]

Former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan led the effort to qualify the measure for the May ballot; qualifying signatures were due by December 7, 2012. According to Riordan, the city's pension obligations are likely to balloon to $3 billion a year by 2017. This would amount to 50% of the city's annual budget. In 2001, the annual pension payout was $220 million. In 2012, it was $1.2 billion.[11]

At a campaign forum held in Koreatown on November 14, Kevin James spoke in favor of the Riordan measure, while Garcetti, Greuel and Perry registered their opposition to it.[12]

Raises for city workers

In 2007, the Los Angeles City Council voted to raise wages for the city's workers. The city's budget officials subsequently said that the city cannot afford those raises. Garcetti, Greuel and Perry voted for the raises in 2007. At the first debate of the campaign season, Perry said that she regretted her 2007 vote for the raises.[13]


As of January 12, about a dozen debates and forums featuring the mayoral candidates had been held.[14]

On February 27, 2013, the "Big Five" mayoral candidates (Garcetti, Greuel, James, Perry and Pleitez) participated in an "Education Summit" hosted by United Way, where their views on education-related issued were aired.[15]

September 19

The first debate of the mayoral campaign took place on Wednesday, September 19. The debate was sponsored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and took place at Hollywood's Taglyan Cultural Complex before an audience of 200.[13]

November 14

The Korean American Coalition, a non-profit organization, sponsored the second debate of the mayoral campaign on November 14 in Koreatown.[12]

Campaign fundraising

Mayoral campaign committees can receive a maximum donation of $1,300 from individual donors.[16][17],[5]

As of February 27, 2013 filing deadline, a total of $12.8 million had been contributed to the various mayoral campaigns. $2.56 million in matching funds from the government was disbursed to eligible candidates. An additional $3.45 million in independent expenditures was donated through February 27.[18]

Reports filed on March 1 reflected campaign financial activity through February 27.[19]


Through February 27, 2013:

Candidate Contributions rec'd Expenses Cash on hand Matching funds
Eric Garcetti $4,341,755 $4,958,067 $249,988 $667,000
Wendy Greuel $4,400,365 $4,935,141 $327,245 $667,000
Jan Perry $1,591,529 $2,142,366 $101,898 $667,000
Kevin James $444,328 $732,843 $33,878 $266,986
Emanuel Pleitez $252,618 $554,128 $64,118 $299,265
See additional fundraising details here


Fred Davis, a Republican media strategist, announced in mid-November that he had formed a SuperPAC (the "Better Way LA Committee") with the goal of raising and spending a minimum of $4 million on behalf of the candidacy of Kevin James. Davis previously worked on campaigns for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carly Fiorina.[16]

Davis said that his SuperPAC would argue that James was the only mayoral candidate who was not responsible for the city's financial crisis: "[James is] the only one of the four who wasn't part of the problem," according to Davis.[16]

Through December 31, 2012, the PAC raised $200,000. $100,000 of this came from Republican mega-donor Harold Simmons, a Texas billionaire.[20]

Through February 27, 2013, James received about $727,000 in independent expenditure assistance.[21]

See also

External links

Campaign websites (in alphabetical order)


  1. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. mayoral election a wide-open contest", December 19, 2012
  2. City charter of the City of Los Angeles, Article II, Sections 205 and 206
  3. Los Angeles Times, "Eric Garcetti edges Wendy Greuel in L.A. mayoral race fundraising", October 11, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 Southern California Public Radio, "Sales tax increase could appear on Los Angeles' March 2013 ballot", November 13, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 Los Angeles Times, "Riordan agrees to debates over city retirement benefits plan", November 15, 2012
  6. 6.0 6.1 Daily Breeze, "Filing period opens for March elections in South Bay, Los Angeles", November 11, 2012
  7. Los Angeles Times, "Eric Garcetti says donations don't break anti-Wal-Mart pledge", July 27, 2012
  8. Los Angeles Daily News, "Los Angeles City Council votes to put sales tax hike on March ballot", November 13, 2012
  9. KCET, "Sales Tax Increase Measure OK'd by L.A. City Council for March Ballot", November 20, 2012
  10. Los Angeles Times, "Riordan agrees to debates over city retirement benefits plan", November 15, 2012
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named weekly
  12. 12.0 12.1 Los Angeles Times, "L.A. mayoral candidates debate Riordan pension overhaul plan", November 15, 2012
  13. 13.0 13.1 Los Angeles Times, "At mayoral debate, charges of corruption and rays of optimism", September 21, 2012
  14. Los Angeles Times, "Some ins and outs of L.A.'s mayoral campaign debates", January 12, 2013
  15. LA School Report, "Education Summit Could Reveal Mayoral Candidates’ Differences", February 25, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Los Angeles Times, "GOP strategist launches super PAC in L.A. mayor's race", November 17, 2012
  17. Los Angeles Times, "Greuel, Garcetti campaigns for L.A. mayor are ahead in fundraising", January 10, 2013
  18. City of LA Ethics Commission, "2013 Municipal and LAUSD Election Totals"
  19. City of LA Ethics Commission, "Filing deadlines"
  20. Los Angeles Times, "'Super PAC' in mayor's race draws money from powerful GOP donor", January 10, 2013
  21. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. mayor candidates Greuel, Garcetti nearly even in fundraising", February 21, 2013