Karen Bass projected to win Los Angeles mayoral race

Elections 2022

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., speaks at an election night party in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(NewsNation) — More than a week after Election Day, NewsNation/ Decision Desk HQ has called the Los Angeles Mayoral race in favor of Rep. Karen Bass (D, Calif.). 

Bass and billionaire businessman Rick Caruso faced off in a race to be the first new mayor in Los Angeles, California, in a decade. Neither candidate ran on a partisan ticket and current mayor Eric Garcetti declined to weigh in on the race.

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Bass was elected to Congress in 2011 and served California’s 37th congressional district. Meanwhile, Caruso is a real estate developer who is responsible for many of the shopping centers around the city.  

The top issues in the race have been crime, homelessness and the city’s racial divide, especially in the wake of leaked recordings of LA city council members making racist remarks.

During a debate, the candidates addressed the issue of homelessness, with Bass advocating for a major increase in temporary shelter beds and permanent supportive housing. She also said she would issue an emergency declaration regarding the homelessness crisis facing LA. Caruso also supported an increase in shelter beds as well as laws that would make homeless encampments illegal.

When it came to affordable housing, Caruso advocated for fewer regulations for developers, while Bass advocated for an increase in housing supply and efforts to bring higher-paying jobs to LA. Neither candidate backed an LA ballot measure that would impose a tax on real estate sales over $5 million to increase funding to fight homelessness.

On crime, both Caruso and Bass have opposed efforts to cut the budget for the Los Angeles Police Department and supported hiring more police officers as well as investing in alternatives to policing in certain situations.

The candidates also faced questions about racial tensions in the city. Bass said her work as a lawmaker and community organizer would qualify her to help heal racial divides between the Latino and Black populations in LA. Caruso said his status as an outsider would benefit the city where existing political establishments had failed.

Though the race is non-partisan, party politics have still played a role. Bass received endorsements from many top Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Caruso was endorsed by the LAPD police union, as well as celebrities Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian. Bass criticized Caruso’s history as a registered Republican. Caruso changed his party affiliation in 2019, and changed it several times before. 

In the weeks leading up to the election, polls showed the two candidates nearly tied. Caruso has massively outspent Bass during the campaign with Bass’ campaign lagging in contributions.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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