The Associated Press named Rick Caruso (a billionaire developer) and Karen Bass (a U.S. California Democrat), to take over California’s primary. In November, they will be competing for the position of Los Angeles’ next mayor. Both candidates were able to win the top two places in Tuesday’s state primaries.
California’s primary system permits all candidates to appear together on one ballot. The top two winners are automatically eligible to vote in the general election, regardless of party affiliation. Bass received 39%.
Caruso is a pro-business billionaire developer who’s running a law-and-order type campaign. A former Republican who became a Democrat just before launching his mayoral bid, Caruso’s dished out tens of millions of his own money to finance his campaign and to flood Los Angeles with ads that spotlight his pledges for quick action to stem what he calls a city in decay.
Bass is a former representative of a congressional district in South Los Angeles. She was chosen by President Biden as his running mate for the 2020 presidential election.
Many members of the city’s Democratic Establishment support her, such as Nancy Pelosi (House speaker), a fellow Californian, and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. Other big Hollywood stars, including J.J. Abrams and Jennifer Garner, support her.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and billionaire, recently endorsed Caruso. Other celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow (a woman in business), Kim Kardashian, and Snoop Dogg(a rapper) also support Caruso.
Recently, Bass and her associates have highlighted Caruso’s history of supporting GOP causes and candidates. They have also connected Caruso to former President Donald Trump, who is still unpopular in Los Angeles.
Caruso, who has pushed back two weeks ago, said to Variety that he was “the furthest thing” from Donald Trump. Everyone knows that. “We are witnessing a desperate act and they are trying to throw Hail Marys. It’s not a popular idea.
The winner in November will succeed term-limited Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose nomination by Biden to serve as U.S. ambassador to India is currently stalled.