James K. Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa: Final burst before the race

Rivals James K. Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa scoured Los Angeles from dawn to dark Monday in a final burst of campaigning before turning their race over to voters, who today pick a &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/15404_obrador.html ' target=_blank>mayor to guide the nation's second most populous city for the next four years.

Traveling from the seashore to the San Fernando Valley, the mayor and his challenger shook hands, walked precincts, traded barbs and stoked volunteers.

They raced through diners, subway stops, nursing homes and a jazz concert, appealing for last-minute support in English, Spanish, Japanese and broken Yiddish.

Whatever the language, the two contestants never wavered from the central themes of their hard-fought, acrimonious campaign, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Mayor James Hahn, lagging in opinion polls ahead of Tuesday's balloting, kept up his criticism of City Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa for voting against legislation nearly a decade ago that would have &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/06/27/31301.html ' target=_blank>toughened penalties for child abuse.

Villaraigosa, who could become the city's first Hispanic mayor in more than a century, depicted Hahn as a desperate incumbent unwilling to address the needs of the nation's second largest city.

``You know, in the last days of the election, people want to know what you're for. They don't just want to know what you're against,'' Villaraigosa said.

Hahn issued a statement telling Villaraigosa, ``You can run but you can't hide. On Tuesday, it's all going to catch up to you ... the double-talk, the flip-flops and a voting record you can't and won't defend.''

Earlier Monday, Hahn worked tables at a diner on Hollywood Boulevard, greeting people over breakfast. He found a few words of encouragement, but not every table was glad to see him.

Denise Richmond, 48, told Hahn she was voting for Villaraigosa. ``I just believe Villaraigosa will be good for everybody,'' she said.

Hahn, 54, is seeking another trip to City Hall after overseeing a sharp drop in crime and modest job growth. But his administration has been shadowed by corruption allegations.

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