By Seema Mehta
9:00 AM PDT, May 17, 2013
The election to select Los Angeles' next mayor is Tuesday. But a combination of factors – the large number of Angelenos voting by mail, the apparent tightness of the race and the city clerk’s ballot-counting process – means that the winner may not be known for days, or weeks, after election day.
Candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti both stress their ties to the entertainment industry. But one overlooked fact is that if Greuel wins the post, she will be the first studio executive to be Los Angeles’ mayor. The Times examines her tenure at DreamWorks SKG.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has not endorsed a candidate to be his successor, on Thursday waded into the heated contest between Garcetti and Greuel, calling for two ads aimed at Latino voters attacking the candidates to be taken off the airwaves. Both were financed with independent donations not controlled by the candidates. A new mailer also created controversy over the role of outside groups in city elections.
The brouhaha occurred as Garcetti was seeking to energize Democratic voters by campaigning with one of President Obama's top advisors, David Axelrod, an apparent effort to counter Greuel's endorsement by former President Clinton.
In the testy race to replace Garcetti on the City Council, a failed sales-tax hike is the subject of new mailers. Literature is being sent to voters in the 13th council district by candidate John Choi and his backers that accuses rival Mitch O'Farrell of supporting the layoffs of 500 police officers. Choi and his backers base the claim on O'Farrell's opposition to Proposition A, the unsuccessful March 5 ballot measure that was promoted by city leaders as a way to avoid cuts to police staffing. After the measure failed, no reductions were made.
In other contests on the Tuesday ballot, a new billboard without the required disclosure statement has appeared boosting incumbent City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. The electronic bill, the third such effort, was spotted affixed to the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. Challenger Mike Feuer filed an ethics complaint about the matter. Trutanich’s campaign said it had no knowledge of the billboard.
In the city controller’s race, candidates Dennis Zine and Ron Galperin clashed in their feisty final debate, repeatedly hammering an insider-versus-outsider theme as they sought to convince voters they would be best prepared to be the city's next chief auditor and accountant.
New fundraising and spending reports from the city and school board candidates are due Friday, though if history is any guide, some are likely to be filed close to the midnight deadline. Check www.latimes.com/local/lanow Saturday for the latest figures.
Comments, questions or tips on city elections? Tweet me at @LATSeema
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