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Caruso one-up’s Bass in mayoral midterm election

Rick Caruso and Karen Bass are still fighting their way to the seat of Los Angeles Mayor with a 2.4 percent difference.

By Natalie Metcalf, Valley Life Editor

Protesters gather for an abortion rights rally in Los Angeles at Grand Park across from City Hall on Saturday May 14. (File photo by Jose Callejas | The Valley Star)

Businessman Rick Caruso clutches the lead in a race too close to call, leaving U.S. Representative Karen Bass not far behind.


With just over 50 percent of the vote still outstanding, Caruso is beating Bass in the polls by 2.4 percent. Last night at 10 p.m., the two candidates were neck in neck. On Wednesday afternoon, it is still being determined whether Bass can garner enough support to take up residency in city hall.


According to the LA County registrar, the outcome of mayor may not be determined until the end of the week. The county saw a large turnout in Tuesday's midterm election, with an increase of 383,933 registered voters.


Caruso’s main focuses on the campaign trail included homelessness, public safety, corruption, economic development, sustainability and housing affordability.


“We don’t know the outcome yet, but I’m happy to say that we’re starting out strong and we’re a couple thousand votes ahead,” Caruso told the LA Times last night.


Both candidates hoped to solve the homeless problem in LA County. Bass’ slogan, “Let's do this, Los Angeles,” highlighted her optimistic views for the county. Her policies addressed homelessness, public safety, crime prevention, affordable housing, jobs, sustainability, housing and transportation.


On election night, Bass made an appearance at the Hollywood Palladium to speak to voters, while Caruso and his family addressed his supporters at The Grove –– one of the sprawling open air shopping centers he developed. During his speech, the businessman commemorated his wife and children for their support throughout his nine-month campaign.


Bass won the general primary in June by six percent, with third and fourth place candidates Kevin de Leon and Gina Viola taking eight and seven percent of the vote, respectively. While Caruso is unlikely to pick up the far-left Viola’s supporters, he could stand to benefit from the gerrymandering scandal that rocked the city and clouded de Leon in controversy.


“We need a change in direction. We need new leadership, leadership that isn’t corrupt — leadership that changes the direction of the city and makes it more livable,” said Rick Caruso at the most recent mayoral debate.


As previously reported by The Star, Senator Bernie Sanders spoke at a Bass rally on Oct. 27. Bass was endorsed by former President Barack Obama the next day. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris also endorsed Bass, according to her website.


“Any time you see a woman succeeding anywhere there’s a good chance she wasn’t given a handout,” said first-year psychology major Donald George about mayoral candidate Bass. “A woman probably had to work twice as hard — and a Black woman probably had to work three times as hard.”


With 4,390,703 votes still left to be counted, the result of LA County’s new mayor is too close to call as of Wednesday.


— With contributions from Isaac Dektor

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