Eric Garcetti Voted In As First Jewish Mayor of Los Angeles


eric-garcetti-los-angelesUpdated: Eric Garcetti has won the race to be the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles, becoming the first Jewish mayor in the city’s history.

City Controller Wendy Greuel conceded defeat early Wednesday to Garcetti, a City Council member and former council president, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Garcetti, 42, will succeed Antonio Villaraigosa, who was unable to run again because of term limits. Garcetti takes office July 1.

“Thank you Los Angeles — the hard work begins but I am honored to lead this city for the next four years,” Garcetti tweeted shortly before 3 a.m. PT. “Let’s make this a great city again.”

Here are five things to know about the new mayor:

Historic election: Garcetti is the first person of Jewish faith to lead Los Angeles. His mother is of Russian Jewish descent. His father, former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, is Mexican American of Spanish and Italian descent. During the campaign, the mayor-elect described himself as having “an Italian last name” and being “half Mexican and half Jewish.” At the age of 42, Garcetti is also the youngest Los Angeles mayor in more than a century.

He was an early backer of Barack Obama’s presidential bid and campaigned for him in Iowa in 2008. Garcetti was co-chairman of Obama’s campaign in vote-rich California during the 2012 election. The mayor’s job is non-partisan but Garcetti and Greuel, like Villaraigosa, are Democrats. She was a Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter in 2008 and worked in Bill Clinton’s administration at the Housing Department.

Garcetti is a card-carrying member of SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents actors. He played himself on the soap opera, All My Children, but played a mayor on The Closer. His father was a consulting producer on the cop show that starred Kyra Sedgwick.

The mayor-elect studied at the London School of Economics and Oxford University on the prestigious scholarship. Garcetti got to know Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J., while they both studied abroad as Rhodes Scholars. Garcetti became friends with Ben Jealous, head of the NAACP, when they both attended Columbia University.

Garcetti’s eight-year commitment to the Navy as a reservist in the intelligence service runs through the end of this year.

As Steve Lopez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, once wrote: “Garcetti has something in common with roughly 85% of the world’s population. You name it, he’s done it.”

Read more at USA TODAY

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