Congresswoman Karen Bass defeated developer Rick Caruso in the Los Angeles Mayoral election on Wednesday, garnering an insurmountable number of votes to become the first African American since 1993 and the first woman to be elected to the position.
While up in polls with double digits over the summer, Bass was the subject of numerous scandals and incidents in September. Combined with a surging for Caruso due to his advertising and local strategies, the 2022 race became the closest LA Mayoral race in decades. With both candidates in a dead heat on election day, Caruso wound up leading early on in the vote tallying, much like the primary election held earlier in June. The lead gradually tightened throughout the week, with Bass finally taking the lead over the weekend.
Finally, on Wednesday, with more mail-in ballots being counted, Bass finally reached an insurmountable lead, 53.1% to 46.9%, up by almost 47,000 votes. Faced with the defeat, Caruso conceded to Bass later on Wednesday, and issued a statement.
“This campaign has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” said Caruso in a statement on Wednesday. “I am so proud of my campaign. We held true to the core values of our family – integrity, honesty, and respect for all.
“While we came up short in the count, we made an indelible impact on this city and its people that will last far beyond the campaign trail or Election Day. We elevated the discourse of the campaign and focused attention on the issues that matter. From my first day as a candidate we relentlessly talked about the plight of the unhoused and the inhumanity of City policies that keep them on the streets, vulnerable and exposed, instead of inside where they can get services they need. From day one, we exposed the deep-seated corruption and built-in mechanisms that foster that corruption. We never wavered in our support for our first responders, the brave men and women of the LAPD, LAFD, and other law enforcement agencies who constantly amaze our communities with their courage, acts of heroism and service. Most of all, we never stopped believing that local government can and should be a force for good, a force that levels the playing field for everyone, a source of pride and inspiration that helps families achieve the American dream.
“There will be more to come from the movement we built, but for now, as a city we need to unite around Mayor-elect Bass and give her the support she needs to tackle the many issues we face. Congratulations, Karen, and God-speed.”
Bass elected as Mayor of LA
Bass, who was informed of her victory while working in her LA Congressional office, said in a later statement that she would ‘hit the ground running’ once sworn into office.
“This evening, I received a gracious call from Rick Caruso, who is someone who I hope continues his civic participation in the city that we both love. I have great respect for his commitment to serving the people of Los Angeles,” continued Bass. “The people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: it is time for change and it is time for urgency.
“To the people of Los Angeles, my message is this: We are going to solve homelessness. We are going to prevent and respond urgently to crime,” Bass said. “Los Angeles is no longer going to be unaffordable for working families – good jobs and affordable housing construction are on the way. And know this – that work has already begun.
“I am honored and humbled that the people have chosen me to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles. Los Angeles is the greatest city on earth. I know, if we come together, hold each other accountable, and focus on the best of who we are and what we can achieve, we can create better neighborhoods today and a better future for our children. To the people of Los Angeles, thank you. To the thousands of people who worked on my campaign, thank you. To everyone who will join our mission to move LA in a new direction, thank you. We will get big things done together.”