US & Canada

Run-off election for Los Angeles mayor after split poll

Combination picture of Los Angeles mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti (left) and Wendy Greuel
Image caption Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel won the largest portions of the vote on Tuesday

Two Democratic candidates will face one another in a run-off election to succeed Antonio Villaraigosa as mayor of Los Angeles, after neither won a majority in Tuesday's vote.

Councilman Eric Garcetti won 33% of the vote, while Controller Wendy Greuel took 29%, preliminary results showed.

Meanwhile, voters in the second-largest US city rejected a measure to raise the sales tax rate, by a wide margin.

Los Angeles faces fiscal problems and overburdened public services.

After polls closed on Tuesday, Mr Garcetti reminded his supporters the race was not over.

"It would be easy to let up and take a break," he said. "But you deserve better from me, and Los Angeles deserves better from us. We need to keep our foot on the gas."

Meanwhile, Ms Greuel pledged to "work on the tough issues like education and jobs and getting LA back on track".

The run-off election will be held on 21 May.

Republican Kevin James attracted about 16% of the vote, followed closely by Democratic Councilwoman Jan Perry.

If elected, Mr Garcetti would become Los Angeles' first Jewish mayor, while Ms Greuel would be the first woman to hold the office.

Outgoing Mayor Villaraigosa was first elected in 2005.

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