LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles voters head to the polls on Tuesday in a primary election to choose a new mayor, with the top candidates trumpeting the need to reduce business taxes to grow the economy.
The non-partisan primary election in the mostly liberal southern California city is expected to end with the top two contenders advancing to a May runoff vote, because no candidate is likely to secure a majority of the electorate.
Among the candidates are a veteran Democratic official who headed the City Council for years, another Democrat tasked with uncovering financial waste, a conservative former talk-show host and a longtime councilwoman.
The eventual winner will replace Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is one of the nation’s most high-profile Latino politicians and chaired the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He is barred from running again after two terms in office.
Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilman Eric Garcetti have led in campaign fundraising and in the polls.
Both have called for a reduction in business taxes to promote economic growth and increase city revenues, even as the nation’s second-largest metropolis scrounges for new revenue to plug a budget hole set to top $1 billion over the next four years. Talk-show host Kevin James has taken a similar position.