LOS ANGELES – Voters at the polls in Los Angeles on Tuesday will face the same mayoral choice they faced four years ago, but this time they could see a very different result.
In 2001, now-Mayor James Hahn (search) defeated City Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa (search) by seven points. The latest polls show Villaraigosa topping Hahn by double digits. Both are Democrats who are going head-to-head after a three-person March contest failed to give one candidate a majority of the vote.
Hahn's once-solid support in the black community has waned since he fired Los Angeles' black police chief Bernard Parks. Some of those votes will now go to his challenger.
"It looks very different than the last campaign. My support is broader and deeper. It's in every part of the city," Villaraigosa said.
And Hahn countered: "I think at the end of the day people want to choose a record of results over rhetoric. That's all my opponent seems to be offering in this campaign."
Hahn doesn't have much to brag about in terms of the city's outlook, but he is taking credit for a drop in crime, touting his decisions to put more cops on the street and to replace Parks at the LAPD with former New York City Police Chief William Bratton.
Villaraigosa has gone on the attack, reminding voters that Hahn's administration is under state and federal investigation for allegedly awarding city contracts to campaign donors. Hahn has not been directly linked to the controversy.
"An FBI, U.S. attorney, two grand jury investigations [are] looking into many, many different connections between contracts and contributions," Villaraigosa said.
Said Hahn: "Here's a guy who's an ACLU liberal who votes against tough crime legislation now coming and trying to say, 'I'm really not that person you think I am.'"
Hahn's campaign ads claim one-time local ACLU president Villaraigosa is dangerously liberal, highlighting his casting the lone vote against a bill increasing penalties for child killers in the state Legislature. Villaraigosa argues that the bill was poorly written.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the heated rhetoric, few Los Angeles voters seem to care who runs city hall; turnout is expected at about 30 percent.
Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Anita Vogel.