Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the United States, will elect a new mayor for the first time in eight years.

The United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112 has thrown its political weight behind city controller Wendy Greuel.

She is the candidate of choice for public safety responders to succeed Antonio Villaraigosa who can’t seek re-election because of term-limits.

Los Angeles residents are deeply critical at the cuts made to the fire department in recent years causing units to be closed and slower response times all across the city (especially in hard to reach neighborhoods).

Greuel is proposing to expand the ranks of the Los Angeles fire department by at least 20 percent over seven years – all without raising city taxes.

UFLAC’s endorsement loans great credibility to the campaign.

UFLAC’s president Frank Lima says his 3,200 member organization supports Greuel because she has always fought to make sure fire fighters and paramedic have the resources they need to make the city safe and to help make government more accountable.

“Wendy will work to create jobs and expand our middle class so families across the city can prosper. And she’ll prioritize public safety so we can put an end to the dysfunctional Fire Department deployment plan that increased LAFD response times. Wendy will not only fight to keep Angelenos safe, she’ll fight to keep our firefighters safe.”

Los Angeles faces a deficit of nearly $200 million next year.

The mayoral primary is March 5 where city residents will vote on the eight candidates seeking the top spot.

The top finishers will advance to a run-off vote on May 21 if a clear winner  hasn’t won the primary.