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Eric Garcetti easily defeats challengers in mayors race


Mayor Eric Garcetti was preparing for another term this week, after easily outpacing a field of 10 challengers and avoiding a May runoff to keep his job.

The mayor proclaimed victory Tuesday night—when early returns had already given him about 80 percent of the vote—greeting supporters at a campaign party in downtown Los Angeles, touting his achievements over the past four years and vowing that more is to come.

“While other people are talking about doing big things, Los Angeles, we are doing big things right now,” he said. “My friends, big things don’t happen by accident. They require leadership. The job of the mayor is to get things done, and that’s what I’m going to keep on doing for each and every one of you here in this city. We’re breaking records at our port and our airport. We’re breaking records for tourism and filming. We’ve housed more homeless veterans than any city in America. We’ve paved more roads than ever before. We’ve confronted climate change head on, by cleaning our air, conserving our water and expanding our green spaces. We enacted the largest tax cut in our city’s history and we’ve seen more small businesses start in the last four years than we’ve seen in decades.

“… So we are doing big things, but we have a lot more left to do,” he said.

Garcetti raised more than $3.3 million as of March 1, dwarfing his opponents. Mitchell Schwartz, a former State Department official who also worked as a campaign operative for former President Barack Obama, is the only other candidate to raise a significant amount, collecting more than $691,000.

Garcetti argued that he accomplished much for city since winning his first term in 2013, by supporting a minimum wage hike, helping the economy by lowering the business tax, encouraging the entertainment industry through tax credits and helping pass the $1.2 billion measure in November to build housing for the homeless.

Schwartz and other critics pointed out that crime has risen in the city for the last three years, along with housing prices.

Garcetti’s other challengers were YJ J Draiman, David Hernandez, Diane “Pinky” Harman, Frantz Pierre, Eric Preven, Yuval Kremer, Dennis Richter, Paul Amori and David “Zuma Dogg” Saltsburg.

Garcetti’s victory speech was interrupted by some protesters shouting about raids by federal immigration authorities, and some people calling for the city to formally become a so-called “sanctuary” city.

The mayor made reference to immigration during his speech, saying “no child should see their parent taken from them while their dropping them off to school”—a reference to the recent videotaped arrest of a Southland man by immigration authorities shortly after taking his daughter to school.

“We know that standing up for equality and for liberty and for justice for each and every one of us are the values that directly lead to our collective success,” he said. “We are all Angelenos … And we are all Americans … and we will rise together.”

He added: “At a moment when politics is being used to divide us … here in L.A. I think we stand for something bigger. We stand for the ideal that when we come together we propel our city and our nation forward.”