Eric Garcetti and Antonio Villaraigosa

Eric Garcetti and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at an event at Union Station in 2011. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times / May 22, 2013)

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa congratulated Eric Garcetti on Wednesday for his victory in Tuesday's mayoral election, saying the three-term councilman's success in turning around his Hollywood district represents "positive indicators of the work he will do as mayor."

Garcetti defeated his rival, Controller Wendy Greuel, 54% to 46% in the low-turnout election. Greuel is expected to officially concede defeat at an appearance in Van Nuys on Wednesday morning.

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"Eric is a true leader who I trust to guide our city into its bright future,'' Villaraigosa said in a prepared statement. "I know I am leaving Los Angeles in good hands."

Villaraigosa, who did not endorse a mayoral candidate, will hand over the reins to Garcetti on July 1. He and his administration will work closely with Garcetti over the coming weeks to ensure a "seamless" transition, he said.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor

The outgoing mayor also paid tribute to Greuel, a longtime friend and political ally.

"I also want to thank Wendy Greuel for her commitment to the people of Los Angeles and admire her for being willing to put her name on the ballot,'' Villaraigosa said. "Wendy, like Eric, is a dedicated public servant who I've worked with for many years.  She has devoted her career to making our city a better place, and I know she'll continue to do so in the future."

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Twitter: @csaillant2

catherine.saillant@latimes.com