Supporters of Antonio Villaraigosa are euphoric after he was elected Los Angeles’ first Latino mayor for more than a hundred years. He took about 59 per cent of the vote, unseating incumbent James Hahn – a political veteran who had beaten Villaraigosa in 2001.
Both men are Democrats with few policy differences. The son of Mexican immigrants, Villaraigosa had nonetheless played down his ethnicity, recognising the need for cross-cultural support, and in deference to lingering unease among some in the city about its shifting demographics. Latinos are the largest ethnic group in LA, making up some 47 per cent of the city’s 3.7 million population.