With the field of eight candidates vying to be Los Angeles’ next mayor winnowed to just two after yesterday’s primary election, expect the coming months to be bring an increasingly negative campaign between the front-runners, Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel.
The two veteran pols -- he is a city council member and she is city controller -- barely disagree with each other on matters of policy. But that can actually lead to pettier and more personal attacks than in races in which the candidates have starkly different platforms.
On Wednesday, Greuel announced that she had received the endorsement of the labor union that represents about 10,000 city employees.
But with that coveted backing comes with a possible price: With SEIU local 721 behind Greuel, Garcetti can say that his rival is in the pocket of big labor. The candidate moved to do so early Wednesday, making a point of saying that his campaign was not controlled by special interests.
Both candidates got an early start on Wednesday, not wasting even a morning to rest before heading out to fight for the ultimate prize.
"They're already campaigning," said NBC4 political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe. "They’re starting again from square one."
By mid-morning on Wednesday, both candidates had already held campaign events. Garcetti addressed reporters and supporters in Atwater Village, outlining the themes he planned to discuss over the next two and a half months.
Among his comments, a dig at Greuel for the union endorsement.
Greuel campaign strategist John Shallman, who has advised the candidate since her first run for City Council, said to expect non-stop campaigning until the runoff.
Greuel, who finished Tuesday's primary slightly behind Garcetti, would be a tireless campaigner, he said.
“She’s the most tenacious hardworking candidate I ever had,” Shallman said. “She can multi-task like no other.”
The runoff in the race for LA mayor will be held May 21.
Also on the ballot that day will be former Assemblyman and City Council member Mike Feuer, the top vote-getter among three main candidates competing for the job of City Attorney, winning 44 percent of ballots cast. Incumbent Carmen Trutanich, who won 30 percent of the votes counted so far, also made the runoff.
Among candidates for city controller, Efficiency Commissioner and businessman Ron Galperin will face longtime City Councilman Dennis Zine.