Wendy Greuel vowed Tuesday to be an independent “business-labor” leader as she sought to counter suggestions by rival Eric Garcetti and his backers that she would be too beholden to city employee unions that have spent heavily to get her elected.
Greuel’s speech, which also called for cutting the budgets of the mayor and council members by 25%, came an hour after Garcetti was endorsed by Kevin James, the sole Republican mayoral candidate, who came in third in the March primary. James said he backed Garcetti because of his potential to show independence from the unions that have backed Greuel, as well as the economic revitalization that has taken place in the Hollywood-area council district Garcetti represents. James attracted considerable support in the San Fernando Valley, a key area of the city for both candidates in the May 21 runoff election.
The White House said that despite a long relationship between President Obama and Garcetti, the president would not weigh in on the mayoral race between two Democrats. Greuel recently received former President Clinton's endorsement.
Garcetti on Monday came out against moving a runway at Los Angeles International Airport, a position that aligns him with activists in Westchester and Playa del Rey.