"I am honored to lead this city for the next four years," said Los Angeles Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti.
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"I am honored to lead this city for the next four years," said Los Angeles Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti.

Story highlights

NEW: "You helped me put a crack" in the glass ceiling, Wendy Greuel tells supporters

Eric Garcetti once found Salma Hayek's lost purse at the North Pole, the LA Times reports

Garcetti got 54% of the vote, city clerk figures show

He will be L.A.'s first elected Jewish mayor

(CNN) —  

Eric Garcetti won the Los Angeles mayoral race, and will become the city’s first elected Jewish mayor.

“Thank you Los Angeles – the hard work begins but I am honored to lead this city for the next four years,” Garcetti, 42, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning. “Let’s make this a great city again.”

His opponent, Wendy Greuel, was seeking to become the city’s first female mayor. She called Garcetti to offer her congratulations Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported, and in the afternoon posted a message on her website thanking volunteers and those who voted for her.

“I may not have been able to break through the glass ceiling last night,” said Greuel, 51, “but you sure helped me put a crack in it, and because of your work, the next woman candidate in my shoes will crash right through it.”

Greuel, who is controller for the nation’s second-largest city, said she is “determined to continue fighting for all Angelenos, to cut waste and increase efficiency, and above all, to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe.”

Garcetti, a city councilman, received 54% of the 337,000 votes cast; Greuel got the other 46%, figures from the city clerk’s office show.

Garcetti’s mother is Jewish, and his father, Gil, the former district attorney whose office lost in the O.J. Simpson murder trial in the 1990s, is of Mexican and Italian descent.

“I always felt myself to be Jewish and Latino very comfortably,” Garcetti told the Jewish Journal during the campaign. “Weekends were both filled with bowls of menudo and lots of bagels.”

Los Angeles once had an acting mayor for a couple of weeks who was Jewish. An LA Times column notes that Bernard Cohn, an appointee, served briefly in 1878 after the elected mayor died.

Antonio Villaraigosa, the city’s first Latino mayor in more than 130 years, is stepping down after eight years because of term limits.

California had a Jewish governor, Washington Bartlett, in 1887.

Garcetti is also the first Los Angeles mayor who can accurately claim that he “commandeered a snowmobile at the North Pole while on a climate-change fact-finding mission and located Salma Hayek’s lost purse in the frozen tundra,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

From history to Hollywood, Los Angeles mayoral race offers it all