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Karen Bass Pulls Ahead With 36,000 More Votes in LA Mayor Race

In the expensive and contentious battle for the mayor’s seat in the city of Los Angeles, there is still no official winner, but Karen Bass is pulling ahead with 36,000 votes Tuesday, the latest figures show.

Bass is up against billionaire Rick Caruso, a real-estate mogul backed by Elon Musk, who pledged change in LA

Late Tuesday night, Bass and Caruso were in a dead heat; 50% of the votes going to each candidate.  

By Saturday, Bass had a slight lead over Caruso, with 52.15% of the votes.

On Tuesday, with 68% of the votes tallied, Bass had a lead of 36,349 votes.

The next update is expected Wednesday.

Results

Whoever wins will take the place of Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was tapped as President Joe Biden’s pick for ambassador to India.

The election comes weeks after LA City Council was tossed into upheaval over leaked audio recorded during a discussion over city redistricting. Then-president Nury Martinez, who has since stepped down, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo had a conversation that included racist slurs referring to the 2-year-old adopted Black son of Councilmember Mike Bonin.

Prior to the election, a poll by the LA Times and UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies revealed Bass had nabbed 45% of likely voters with Caruso taking 41%.

On Tuesday, Alex Villanueva conceded as sheriff. Read more here.

Karen Bass

Bass has been a Democratic congresswoman since 2011. She grew up in the Venice/Fairfax area of Los Angeles.

In the 1990s, she helped gather a group of African-American and Latino community organizers to found Community Coalition, or CoCo, to help “transform the social and economic conditions in South Los Angeles.”

In 2008, she became the first Black woman in the U.S. to serve as speaker of a state legislative body as 67th speaker of the California State Assembly.

Bass has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Celebrities such as Danny Trejo, Alyssa Milano, John Legend, America Ferrera, Jane Fonda, Rosario Dawson, Ken Jeong, Dulé Hill and J.J. Abrams have endorsed Bass in her mayoral run.

Rick Caruso

Caruso also boasts big name supporters.

Elon Musk threw his support behind Caruso back in June, long before the purchase and chaos surrounding Twitter days before the election.

Snoop Dogg, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, and Gwyneth Paltrow have endorsed Caruso.

Caruso, a billionaire real-estate company founder, is the chair of the board of trustees at the University of Southern California.

He is the former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission and member of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. At the age of 26 in 1985, then Mayor Tom Bradley named Caruso commissioner for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. He was the youngest commissioner in the history of the city. Caruso was previously a Republican, and non-partisan, before he decided to run as Democratic mayor of LA.

Bass and Caruso both agreed LA is in crisis over homelessness, and while both say they would declare a state of emergency, they have different ideas on how to tackle the problem.

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