Antonio Villaraigosa romped past incumbent James K. Hahn to make history Tuesday, winning election as the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since the city’s pioneer days.
Riding a huge wave of voter discontent, the challenger avenged his 2001 loss to Hahn, who possessed an iconic family name but never connected strongly with voters during a rocky four-year term.
Villaraigosa’s landslide represented a crowning symbol of Latinos’ growing clout in California, after decades of population gains that failed to produce a commensurate rise in political power. L.A.’s last Latino mayor, Cristobal Aguilar, left office in 1872, when the now-sprawling metropolis was a frontier outpost of barely 6,000 people.
Hahn: 183,749 (41.34%) — Villaraigosa: 260,721 (58.66%)