Race, ethnic lines less visible as LA picks mayor

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By MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles voters are picking a new mayor, but the race is far different from the landmark election of Antonio Villaraigosa eight years ago.

Villaraigosa's victory made him the first Hispanic mayor since 1872 and highlighted the clout of a growing Latino population.

With the barrier gone, issues of race and ethnicity have been mostly muted in the nonpartisan contest to succeed him.

There is no Hispanic standard-bearer. The city could elect its first woman mayor, its first Jewish one, or the first gay one.

But jobs, schools and other familiar issues have dominated. The March 5 primary is expected to lead to a May runoff.

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