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Karen Bass elected as first female mayor of LA

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Angelenos’ anticipation ends as the final call for mayor was announced a week after election.

Representative Karen Bass takes the stage with her daughter and grandson at a mayoral rally in Central Park Playa Vista, Los Angeles, on Oct. 27. Senator Bernie Sanders showed up in support of Bass at the rally and took to the podium with a speech bashing billionaires for making record profits while the working class struggles. (Griffin O'Rourke | Valley Star)

By Natalie Metcalf and Cassandra Nava, Staff Writers

Karen Bass and Rick Caruso’s week-long tango for mayor ends, as Bass takes the win and becomes Los Angeles's first female mayor.

According to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder, Bass took the lead with 53.06 percent, with Caruso trailing behind at 46.94 percent. Last Wednesday, Caruso was inching over Bass by 2.4 percent, when about half of the votes were counted.

“I voted for Karen Bass because Rick Caruso was such a bad option,” said Clara Osgood, a third-year political science major at Valley College. “He spent a lot of money on anti-abortion.”

As of election night, many Angelenos expected results on the weekend. However, due to mail-in ballots and same-day voter registrations, the final call is expected on Nov. 15. About 46 million Angelenos voted early and submitted a ballot prior to election day. To verify the validity of these votes, election officials must carefully cross reference the signature on each ballot to the voter’s driver’s license or identification card.

In May, Planned Parenthood called out the businessman turned candidate for funding Proposition 1 anti-abortion campaign committee for $100,000 after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the primary elections, Bass campaigned to protect women’s rights. Earlier this year, she showed her support for women’s reproductive rights at an annual Women’s March event at City Hall, which hosted thousands of Angelenos.

“We are in a fight for the soul of our city,” said Bass, according to the Associated Press. “We will win because we are going to build a new Los Angeles.”

Bass has been a congresswoman and US representative of California in the 33rd district since 2011. In the past, Caruso was a real estate lawyer and businessman. He was widely known for his contributions to the Grove in Los Angeles.

According to KCET, Caruso spent $57.6 million on his general election campaign, while Bass spent $3.4 million. Overall the combined candidate's campaigns range around $61 million in the general election. The two candidates faced off in the primary election as well, with Caruso spending $41.5 million and Bass spending $3.6 million.

"Caruso is spending so much money in a race –– that's pretty amazing,” said Valley College professor of political science, Anthony O’Reagan. “Bass certainly didn't have the same kind of financial resources. But what she did have was the political resources. And I think that's probably going to be just about enough for her to kind of hold on. I always felt that Bass was the more likely to win, but it's been a very competitive race.”

The U.S. Respective was given $5.1 million from outside supporters, whereas Caruso received $4.28 million from individual contributors wanting him to stop his campaign. Bass has seen $14, 227 in donations from her supporters during her campaign. Caruso has seen much less, only receiving $3,101 in donations.

“In terms of the socio-economic-political spectrum and the temperatures rising, in terms of which direction each party is going, Bass vs. Caruso is creating a divide that tends to solve issues and also create problems,” said Ali Abin, a second-year accounting student at Valley.


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