L.A. elects Latino Mayor
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Mayor-electwas swept to victory in on Tuesday, winning nearly 60% of the vote to defeat incumbent . Becoming the first Latino mayor in 133 years, the historic election was marked by an anticipated low voter turnout of 30%.
By capitalizing on voter discontent, Villaraigosa was able to over-come his loss to Hahn in the previous election and gain the key support of the African American community and San Fernando Valley. According to aexit poll, 7 in 10 voters said they wanted the city to shift direction, including roughly a third of Hahn's own supporters, .
In a city where 47 percent of the population is Latino, Villaraigosa largely downplayed his ethenicity during the election and was able to garner cross cultural support. Whites make up 30 percent of the city population, while African-Americans and Asians account for about 10 percent each.
As a child, Villaraigosa was raised by his mother and grew up in poverty after his father abandoned the family. His high school attendance was spotty, but he went on to graduate fromand earn a law degree at .
A one-time teachers union organizer, his political skills got him job of Assembly speaker in Sacramento in 1998. His next years were spent preparing for his first run for mayor in Los Angeles. In the 2001 campaign, he became a star in national politics by winning a race against six major candidates. But after losing to Hahn in the runoff, he turned his attention to running for, and winning, a seat on the City Council two years later. His district, which was north and east of downtown, and stretched fromto and included , where he lives.
- Kevin Krolicki and Alexandria Sage. "'We're all Angelenos' says L.A.'s Latino mayor" — , Wed May 18, 2005 06:49 PM ET
- Noam N. Levey, Michael Finnegan and Mark Z. Barabak. "Mayor-Elect Villaraigosa Highlights Vision, Commitment" — , 3:09 PM PDT, May 18, 2005