Karen Bass Surpasses Rick Caruso in Mayor’s Race Vote Tally as Count Continues

Angelenos still have to wait days, or maybe even weeks, before the name of the city’s next leader is announced

Rep. Karen Bass overtook Rick Caruso in Friday afternoon’s latest voting tally update in the race for Los Angeles mayor, pushing past the real estate developer after he’d eked out a marginal lead in the initial tally following polls closing on Election Day. 

At 4:09 p.m. on Friday, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk posted the latest count. Bass now has 289,782 votes to Caruso’s 285,398, giving the longtime public servant a lead of 50.38% to 49.62% over the billionaire developer. 

Still, there are hundreds of thousands of ballots that remain uncounted in the tight race and Angelenos are looking at days or weeks before they will know who will be their next mayor. Updates will come on Tuesdays and Fridays until all of the votes are counted. 

“In the coming days, the voice of the people of Los Angeles will be heard and we feel confident that we will win,” said Bass Campaign Communications Director Sarah Leonard Sheahan.

When the June primary’s votes were all tallied, Bass surged to a 7% lead over Caruso—a comfortable lead but not enough of the vote to avoid a runoff election on Nov. 8—which was preceded by a campaign from Caruso that included a fresh barrage of ads attacking his rival. After the vote tally was announced this week, Caruso said that he believes he’s going to be the candidate who comes out ahead in the end.

“As predicted, this is a close race,” the magnate said. “There are hundreds of thousands of votes to count and as expected we are going to see different results each time. I continue to be cautiously optimistic about these numbers and look forward to the next series of results in the coming weeks.”

Bass, a six-term representative of California’s 37th Congressional district, will become the first woman and only the second Black person to lead Los Angeles if she wins. Caruso, a newcomer to politics who changed his party affiliation to Democrat just before he launched his campaign, is on track to spend over $100 million, which was mostly pulled from the candidate’s own fortune.

The winner will have their work cut out for them, taking the helm of a city rocked by a scandal that has embroiled City Hall after three council members and a top county labor official were heard on a leaked audio recording from a conversation in October 2021 regarding attempts to manipulate the city’s redistricting process that included ugly and racist comments.

City News Service contributed to this report

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