Things That Matter

Mayoral Race: Two Paths Emerge for LA Voters This November

This week, Los Angeles voted to have Rep. Karen Bass and developer Rick Caruso face off in the mayoral general election this November.

Both mayoral candidates ran in a crowded 12-person race that ended in sharp victories. Trailing far behind the top two contenders was Kevin De Leon, who amassed 7% of the vote. 

If Bass wins the election, she will be the first woman and the second Black mayor L.A. has ever seen. At the start of the race, this six-term progressive member of Congress was seen as the obvious frontrunner.

Matters changed rapidly when Caruso dropped nearly $41 million on TV ads to increase his name recognition. In comparison, the Bass campaign has spent approximately $3 million. 

With crime and homelessness at the top of voters’ minds, there are two messages being pushed now and two choices for L.A. voters to decide on. There is former Republican Caruso with the message that Los Angeles is in decay and needs tough and swift action to reclaim the city for what it once was. Next to him is Bass who claims she’ll be smart on crime.

Neither delivery has completely satisfied Van Nuys resident Lester Cruz. “I voted for Karen Bass, but I do hope she’s a little tougher on crime and the homeless situation. I just couldn’t stomach voting for Caruso because he reminds me of Trump,” the Angelino told mitú.

The general dissatisfaction looming over residents was reflected in the dismal early voter turnout on Monday, with only 15% of ballots marked as returned. Some voters have found comfort in lesser known candidates like police abolitionist Gina Viola.

South Central resident Maria Diaz explained to mitú, “A lot of her propositions align with my views. I like that she wants to reduce the police budget and reallocate it to mental health programs instead of increasing the police budget. I like that she believes in employing BIPOC folks into her team in order to really meet the needs of BIPOC folks. I love that she wants to focus on houselessness and wants to provide housing for those on the street. Lastly, she’s a community organizer.”

Caruso and Bass will have another six months to appeal to the diverse range of Latinx Angelinos searching for ease. 

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