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L.A. Votes: Rivals engage, registration deadline arrives

L.A. Votes: Rivals engage, registration deadline arrives
City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilman Eric Garcetti debate at the USC Galen Center. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

The mayoral candidates clashed in a debate Sunday night, slashing at each other's trustworthiness and independence while agreeing that their policies are similar. Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel also conceded in the debate, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times and USC, that their rival was honest.

But the duo tried to draw a contrast in their records. Greuel highlighted her audits of city departments and her experiences working for former Mayor Tom Bradley and President Clinton. And Garcetti stressed his efforts to reform the city's pension system and touted improvements in his council district.

There are just more than two weeks to go before voters head to the polls.  Campaigns as intense as Los Angeles' mayoral race tend to consume not only the candidates, but their families. A look at how Greuel and Garcetti are incorporating their children into the frenzy of their political bids.

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Over the weekend, Garcetti and Greuel also visited African American churches and courted Latino voters. The latter could make up one-third of the electorate in the runoff election. As lawmakers in Washington debate overhauling the nation's immigration policy, Garcetti and Greuel on Saturday pledged to help those seeking citizenship and to clean up neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights and Pacoima.

Times columnist Sandy Banks says Greuel’s campaign has an air of desperation.

Today is the last day to register to vote in the May 21 election. To register, visit www.lavote.net, or call (562) 466-1310.

Comments, questions or tips on city elections? Tweet me at @LATSeema

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