Los Angeles Municipal Election Overview

NOTE: Under California's Top Two primary system, candidates who receive more than 50 percent of the vote win the election outright. If there is no primary winner, the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election.

On the following pages, you can track the money raised and spent by candidates during each phase of the 2013 municipal election. Primary and general election funds are kept separate because of a state law forbidding candidates who advance to use the money they raised during the primary season. In financial terms, campaigning started over after March 5.

The mayor of Los Angeles is the chief executive officer of the city. The position carries with it the power to appoint and remove staff, to appoint board commissioners, to submit a budget for council approval, to declare an emergency, and to veto ordinances passed by the city council. The mayor may serve at most two terms of four years. With the departure of Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor's race this year is an open contest.

The city attorney is the city's legal advisor, representing it in lawsuits and prosecuting on its behalf in criminal cases that involve the charter, local ordinances, and misdemeanors. The city attorney may serve at most two terms of four years. Current city attorney Carmen Trutanich is running for re-election.

The controller is the city's chief auditor and accountant, monitoring the financial health and performance of all departments. The city controller serves at most two terms of four years. The controller's race is an open contest, with current city controller Wendy Greuel making a run for mayor.

City Council

The council is the city's legislative branch, writing and enacting local ordinances, approving or rejecting mayoral appointments, and carrying out other city business. The council consists of fifteen members, each elected by district and serving at most two terms of four years. Half of the council seats are up for election every two years, alternating by odd- or even-numbered districts. This year, voters will choose members from odd-numbered districts. Six of the eight contests are for open seats.

School Board

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education oversees the nation's second largest school district. The board consists of seven members, elected by district, who serve at most three terms of four years in office. This year, the seats in even-numbered districts are up for election. The race for District 6 is an open contest.