Eric Garcetti won the Los Angeles mayoral race, and will become the city’s first elected Jewish mayor.
“Thank you Los Angeles — the hard work begins but I am honored to lead this city for the next four years,” Garcetti, 42, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning. “Let’s make this a great city again.”
His opponent, Wendy Greuel, did not immediately issue a statement. But the Los Angeles Times reported that she called Garcetti early Wednesday to concede.
Greuel, 51, would have been Los Angeles’ first female mayor. She is controller for nation’s second-largest city.
Garcetti, a city councilman, received 54% of the 337,000 votes cast; Greuel got the other 46%, figures from the city clerk’s office show.
Garcetti’s mother is Jewish, and his father, Gil, the former district attorney whose office lost in the O.J. Simpson murder trial in the 1990s, is of Mexican and Italian descent.
“I always felt myself to be Jewish and Latino very comfortably,” Garcetti told the Jewish Journal during the campaign. “Weekends were both filled with bowls of menudo and lots of bagels.”
Los Angeles once had an acting mayor for a couple of weeks who was Jewish. A Los Angeles Times column notes that Bernard Cohn, an appointee, served briefly in 1878 after the elected mayor died.
Antonio Villaraigosa, the city’s first Latino mayor in more than 130 years, is stepping down after eight years because of term limits.
California had a Jewish governor, Washington Bartlett, in 1887.
Garcetti is also the first Los Angeles mayor who can accurately claim that he “commandeered a snowmobile at the North Pole while on a climate-change fact-finding mission and located Salma Hayek’s lost purse in the frozen tundra,” the Los Angeles Times reports.