Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel greets Angela Duran, 82, during… (Kevork Djansezian / Getty…)
Operating on just four hours of sleep and trailed by a swarm of journalists, Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel asked for votes and talked up the historic nature of her campaign during a lunchtime stop in Chinatown.
"I'm the most qualified candidate, and I would be -- I will be -- the first woman mayor," she told two women eating French dip sandwiches at Philippe The Original. To an elderly woman with a walker, Greuel said: "You've lived to meet the first woman mayor of Los Angeles!"
Shaking hand after hand, Greuel described herself as the only candidate willing to take on the nitty-gritty of governing the city. "I'm going to be a mayor who is going to roll up her sleeves, focus on the basic quality-of-life issues and fight for the residents of L.A.," she said.
Dinner Elsa Morales gave Greuel a thumbs up and shouted: "You know you're going to do it!"
Morales, who said she has a Greuel campaign sign in front of her Highland Park Home, said she finds Greuel likable and energetic, and believes she'll be the best fighter for the middle class. "I'm so excited about her. She's bringing new life into the city," Morales said.
Speaking to other voters, Greuel stressed her broad coalition of backers, name-dropping endorsements she has received from the likes of former President Bill Clinton and Magic Johnson.
She dismissed a recent USC Price/Los Angeles Times poll that showed her opponent, Eric Garcetti, with a 7-point lead.
"I've seen lots of polls. Most of the polls I've seen show us neck-and-neck," she said. She recalled that she won her first election, to the City Council, by only 225 votes, and said she planned to push until the polls close Tuesday to talk to as many voters as possible.
She started her day Monday at 6 a.m. at a North Hollywood Starbucks, and had filmed a television segment and dropped by a Sherman Oaks senior center before getting to the restaurant.
Greuel admitted that the campaign is wearing on her, saying she's gotten only four hours of sleep per night in recent days. "If I don't put sentences together very well sometimes, you can see why," she said, laughing.
After shaking hands, hugging and posing for photographs with dozens of people, Greuel sat down for lunch with her campaign staff and husband. He slid a French dip sandwich in front of her and handed her a glass of water. She had just taken a bite when a supporter came up. "Can I have a picture?" the woman asked. Greuel pushed her lunch away and obliged.
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