Breanna Reeves |
U.S. Representative Karen Bass will assume office next month after defeating billionaire business developer Rick Caruso to become the next mayor of Los Angeles, according to the Associated Press who called the race on Wednesday.
Bass’ win as the first female mayor of Los Angeles and the city’s second Black mayor comes a week after the Midterm Election on Nov. 8, 2022. More than 70% of the ballots have been counted with Bass leading by more than 46,000 votes.
“This is my home, and with my whole heart, I’m ready to serve, and my pledge to you is that we will hit the ground running on Day One,” Bass said in a statement. “I ran for mayor to urgently confront the crises our hometown faces. Tonight, 40,000 Angelenos will sleep without a home — and five will not wake up. Crime is increasing and families are being priced out of their neighborhoods. This must change.”
While Caruso initially held the lead over Bass with 12,000 votes and spent more than $100 million on his campaign, he conceded to her victory with a phone call to her office on Wednesday.
“While we came up short in the count, we made an indelible impact on this city and its people that will last far beyond the campaign trail or Election Day,” Caruso said in a statement. “There will be more to come from the movement we created.”
Prior to 2012, real estate developer Caruso was registered as Republican and then reported no party preference for 10 years until he announced his bid for mayor. Just before he announced, Caruso re-registered as a Democrat.
Bass, who was endorsed by both President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, has served in Congress since 2011. A registered Democrat since 2005, she was also on the president’s shortlist of candidates for vice president prior to her run for mayor.
Bass will assume office as the city continues to grapple with racist audio from a Los Angeles City Council meeting that was leaked last month. Residents and activists have protested against city council meetings since the audio was leaked as they called for the dismissal of city council members, including president Nury Martinez who has since resigned. The other two council members caught on tape, Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León, have not resigned, but have been absent from their posts.
As the new leader of the second largest city in the country, Bass will take on Los Angeles’s homelessness crisis, an increase in robberies and increased demands for affordable housing.
“And know this — the work has already begun,” Bass stated.