Wendy Greuel looks ahead to next steps after losing mayoral race

Wendy Greuel is consoled by supporter Todd Hawkins while addressing a press conference pledging her support to Eric Garcetti based on election results in the Los Angeles Mayoral campaign.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

In a speech Wednesday conceding the Los Angeles mayoral race to Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel was reflective and emotional.

“As Magic [Johnson] knows, sometimes those last shots don’t go in. You don’t cry about it, you pick yourself up and move forward ... because that’s the measure of success,” Greuel said during a news conference at her Van Nuys campaign office.

She urged her supporters to help Garcetti and congratulated him, saying his “success was critical to the future of Los Angeles.” The two candidates spoke by phone around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, she said.


Live video analysis: Wednesday, noon to 2 p.m.

Greuel said that in the coming days she would probably have a “long list of regrets” about the campaign, but declined to elaborate.

In response to a question about the influence of money on the the campaign, Greuel said she remains a proponent of taking money out of politics.

Polls showed that campaign contributions from labor groups, such as that of the Department of Water and Power, harmed Greuel’s image with key voter groups. Greuel said she felt the campaign focused on contributions at the expense of the issues.

“There were so many more things I wanted to talk about, and people were more fixated on the money side than the issues,” Greuel said.

Greuel’s proposals for a student bill of rights and plans to bring business to Los Angeles were not widely discussed, she said. She stressed cooperation between business and labor going forward.

“Instead of it always being about ‘is it money’ or ‘is it business or labor,’ let’s talk about how to build a coalition in Los Angeles. That’s the only way we’re going to get through the situation that we’re in,” she said.

But Greuel also said she was proud of how far the campaign has come and had no regrets. She urged her supporters to celebrate the issues they raised, particularly on the importance of strong women leaders at City Hall.

“You showed the daughters, sisters, wives and mothers of Los Angeles that one day we will have a woman mayor of Los Angeles,” Greuel said.

Addressing clusters of teary-eyed supporters and campaign staff, Greuel fought to keep her composure.

“This is when I think of my parents. They would be so proud,” Greuel said, her voice breaking. “They would have never have thought that I would run for mayor of Los Angeles.”

Greuel had little to say about what she planned to do next, but she said people know her as a “24/7” kind of person. She was emailing people about her next steps Wednesday morning, she said.

“I’m not going anywhere. This is the city I was born and raised in, where I built my career and raised my family,” Greuel said.

Greuel said she wants to find the place where her skills can have the greatest effect on the city. But before any of that, Greuel said, she has to keep a promise.

“I’m going to Disneyland. I promised my 9½-year-old,” Greuel said.


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