Garcetti, Greuel square off in firey debate, tied in polls
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilman Eric Garcetti went into Friday's mayoral debate at Cal State L.A. tied at 46 to 46, according to the latest Eyewitness News Survey USA poll, after an onslaught of negative ads from both sides.
Greuel tried calling a truce during the debate to stop the negative campaigning. But Garcetti pointed to millions spent by the DWP workers union and other outside groups backing Greuel.
"I'm happy to do that if you can pledge to make sure all the outside influences in your campaign as well will not do that," he said.
"She's had eight weeks of attack ads, and now she's out of money, so it's right out of the playbook, 'we don't have any money, please tell everybody, put down your weapons,'" Garcetti said after the debate.
"He did not answer that question, and so I hope that the public will say to him, stop the negative campaigning, and agree to no negative TV," Greuel said following the debate, which was morderated by ABC7 anchor Marc Brown.
The two agreed on many of the substantive questions, but disagreed over $42 million of recently uncovered, unspent money sitting in a special transportation fund.
"We have the chief financial officer of the city in charge of accounts, in charge of audits, and she missed this. And we paid the price," Garcetti said.
"That money that he identified was an actual recommendation from my audit and we're looking at all the other 600 special funds to make sure that happens," Greuel said.
One nice moment in the debate came when the two were asked what role the other would play in their potential administration.
"Of course I think I'm going to be a better mayor, but I look forward to having him on my team," Greuel said.
"We've been friends before, we will be friends afterward. This might not be the high point of our friendships with attack ads, but I know we'll get through it," Garcetti said.
Greuel has spent a lot of money recently on campaign ads, but now her campaign admitted in its own emails to supporters that the Garcetti campaign is raising more cash.
The latest poll also showed the two candidates are nearly neck and neck among every group. Men tip slightly to Garcetti, and women tip slightly to Greuel. Garcetti is also slightly ahead of Greuel with Latino voters.
Absentee ballots are already out and some people are already voting. Election Day is a week from Tuesday.
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