Los Angeles City Attorney and Mayoral candidate Mike Feuer announced that he will drop out of the Los Angeles Mayoral race at a press conference on Tuesday, leaving only Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), Developer Rick Caruso, and City Councilman Kevin de Leon as the only candidates polling above 5% left in the race.
Feuer was the first major candidate to enter the race, announcing his candidacy in March of 2020. Despite his early entry, Feuer struggled to garner significant support. The downswing of the popularity of his Department post-George Floyd stymied some support, with other candidates entering and grabbing support of lawmakers, unions, and other high-profile individuals and, in turn, not endorsing the City Attorney also hurting Feuer later down the stretch. A poll in February showed Feuer with only 4% of the vote, while a poll made just last month, after the addition of Caruso joining the race, had Feuer’s percentage folding by half to 2%.
Feuer, seeing support drop, was seen to be more active in recent weeks as a reaction to the lower numbers. However, a $1 million ad blitz in recent weeks to try and get himself back in the race failed to inch him up in support. Feuer also failed to pull in significant support and could not break the built-in district voting blocs of the other four candidates or match the funds that both Bass and Caruso have been putting into the race.
With support dwindling, Bass and Caruso pulling far ahead of all other candidates in recent months, a growing scandal over the City Attorney’s office handling of a lawsuit brought by utility customers, and some candidates dropping out and throwing support behind others in recent weeks, including Councilman Buscaino dropping out last week and supporting Caruso, Feuer announced that he too would be dropping out on Tuesday. At the press conference in Encino, Feuer said that he would be endorsing Bass in the final homestretch to the primary election early next month.
Feuer announces support for Bass
“I reviewed my recent polling, and while things are moving in the right direction, without a major infusion of additional money to stay on the air, I can’t win. I’ve done a lot of soul-searching and I need to do what is best for our city,” stated Feuer on Tuesday. “That means stepping aside and supporting an exceptional candidate who can win, who must win, because the stakes for Los Angeles could hardly be higher.
“I’m proud to stand here with my longtime friend, colleague and partner to endorse, in the strongest possible terms, Karen Bass for mayor of Los Angeles. Karen is a great listener, treats everyone with respect, has values and is less focused on who gets the credit than about accomplishing big things.”
In return, Bass, who was also at the press conference, said of Feuer “He knows that the only way Los Angeles will move forward from the crisis we face today is by uniting people of all backgrounds. We will prove that together, nothing can get in our way, no matter how many attacks come, no matter how much money is spent to tear us down.”
Political experts noted on Tuesday that Feuer’s support of Bass will likely balance out the bump of support that Caruso got from Buscaino last week, with both sides now wanting the backing of the only other major candidate left: de Leon.
“Bass and Caruso have become more surgical in their strikes in recent weeks,” explained Los Angeles issue advisor Ramon Martin to the Globe on Tuesday. “Caruso has been reaching out more to communities affected by homelessness and housing issues, the bread and butter for Bass outside her Congressional district. Meanwhile, Bass has been going after the heart of his support in the Valley. I mean, look where the Feuer-Bass press conference was today. In Encino. Neither side is playing around anymore. They both want that front place standing in June.”
“For Bass, Feuer was a big get today, although if his office continues to make the news in not so pleasant ways like it has, it’s questionable just how much it can mean in the long run. For both Bass and Caruso though, they both want de Leon to endorse them. Not only would it reel in a whole districts worth of support, but it would be a big way in to draw in more Latino voters. Caruso has been embarrassing Bass in the number he has been getting. Those ads Caruso has been putting out in Spanish and for the Latino demographic? They’ve been working.”
“Again, Feuer dropping out today and endorsing Bass is huge. But de Leon has around 6% still behind him, as well as a large group of Latino voters that neither Buscaino nor Feuer had. Between now and the primary, guess who they will be courting?”
The primary race is to be held on June 7th.
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