Karen Bass projected to beat billionaire Rick Caruso to become first female mayor of Los Angeles

The six-time congresswoman also becomes only the second ever Black mayor of the city

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 17 November 2022 01:29 GMT
Karen Bass reflects on mayoral campaign

Representative Karen Bass has been projected to beat billionaireRick Caruso to become the first female mayor of Los Angeles, and just the second Black person to hold the office.

The 69-year-old congresswoman defeated the former Republican businessman, who spent more than $100m of his personal fortune on the race.

Projections of Ms Bass’s win came on Wednesday afternoon after the latest results from LA County election officials put her at 53.06 per cent of the vote to Mr Caruso’s 46.94 per cent.

Ms Bass is a six-term US Congresswoman who represents California’s 37th congressional district, is chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and was shortlisted by Joe Biden to become his vice president.

She was endorsed by leading Democrats, including the president, vice president Kamala Harris, former president Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Mr Caruso, 63, took an initial lead on election night but as the counting of ballots has taken more than a week Ms Bass closed the gap before taking and staying in the lead.

Before the election, she said that once in office she would declare a state of emergency to deal with homelessness in the city, which impacts as many as 41,000 people in LA.

Ms Bass will replace incumbent Mayor Eric Garcetti, who could not run again, and is still awaiting confirmation as Joe Biden’s US ambassador to India.

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