Antonio Villaraigosa has become a new Los Angeles Mayor

Newly elected Los Angeles Mayor &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday plunged into the kind of controversy that could underlie his role as the first Latino leader of the multicultural city in over a century.

Villaraigosa, 52, the high school dropout son of &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Mexican immigrants, scored a resounding election victory over incumbent James Hahn in Tuesday`s mayoral elections, making him one of the nation's highest profile Latino leaders.

Despite a campaign that underplayed race and a result that reflected cross-cultural support, Villaraigosa`s historic win also underscored the growing influence of Latino voters in California and across the United States, informs Reuters.

Antonio Villaraigosa`s victory in the Los Angeles mayor`s race may not have been certain until the end, but no one has doubted in recent years that Los Angeles would one day have a Latino mayor. Recent history - and changing demographics - guaranteed it.

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