Karen Bass Projected to Win Los Angeles Mayor’s Race

The Associated Press declared the U.S. representative and longtime politician the victor in the tight race with real estate mogul Rick Caruso. She will be L.A.’s first woman mayor
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U.S. Rep. Karen Bass is projected to be the next mayor of Los Angeles, according to the Associated Press, defeating Rick Caruso in a tight runoff race in which the real estate developer spent upwards of $100 million of his own money but is now unfolding in a remarkably similar fashion to the June primary. 

On Wednesday, a vote-counting update from the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk indicated that Bass increased her lead again Wednesday against developer Caruso in the race, continuing a trend since Election Day. Bass led Caruso by over 46,500 votes following the latest update, opening up a 53% to 47% advantage more than a week since the Nov. 8 election. The new figures prompted the AP to project that Bass would win the race.

On Wednesday, an additional 103,126 ballots were added to the tally, for a total of nearly 2 million ballots counted so far. It’s estimated that 565,050 ballots remain to be processed after Tuesday’s update, according to the clerk’s office; it’s unclear how many of the uncounted votes are from the city of Los Angeles.

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Over seven days, the six updates since Election Day have seen Bass gain votes over Caruso. The mogul took an early lead in the vote count just after voting closed on Friday. The steady climb happening now, since Bass’s initial lag behind Caruso in the vote tally, closely parallels the June primary. Then, the real estate developer netted a 5% lead before mail-in ballots were counted, at which point Bass climbed ahead. 

“I am honored and grateful for the support we are continuing to see,” Bass said Monday in a statement on Twitter.

On Wednesday evening, Caruso tweeted a statement in which he acknowledged that “we came up short in the count” but also “elevated the discourse of the campaign;” the billionaire also thanked those who supported him throughout his nine-month run. Read his full statement below.

Bass’s win is historic. She will be the first woman ever to be inaugurated mayor of Los Angeles, and only the second Black person to take the office. Tom Bradley, who is Black, was the 38th Mayor of Los Angeles, holding office from 1973 to 1993.

Bass will soon inherit the leadership position in a troubled city that’s now grappling with a worsening homelessness crisis and a scandal that has embroiled its City Council since early October after audio from a meeting between three councilmembers and a county labor official leaked online; from an October 2021 meeting, that conversation included racist comments and attempts to manipulate redistricting. The leak ultimately led sitting City Council President Nury Martinez to resign from the presidency and council. 

City News Service contributed to this report.

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