Karen Bass leads LA mayoral race. Can Rick Caruso win votes and trust?

U.S. Rep. Karen Bass will face billionaire Rick Caruso during the November general election. Photo by Karen Bass for Mayor.

The results of the California primary election have been certified by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. It’s official: Congresswoman Karen Bass is the frontrunner to be LA’s next mayor. She leads billionaire developer Rick Caruso by seven percentage points. Since neither received more than 50% of the vote, they’ll face each other in a November runoff election. 

“Democrats in LA are upset about Roe v. Wade. They're upset about the Supreme Court. And Karen Bass and her supporters are really capitalizing on that, even though of course … Rick Caruso is a registered Democrat at this time,” says David Zahniser, Los Angeles City Hall reporter for the LA Times. 

He notes that Caruso switched from being Republican to Democrat at the start of his campaign. “And so, the Karen Bass folks view that basically, his most recent reregistration is a form of opportunism. So it's going to be interesting to see how he can persuade Democrats, of which there are quite a few in this county, that he is somebody they can trust.”

Also across the city, more progessive candidates beat established incumbents for City Council with messages of police reform and more public housing. That includes 32-year-old activist Eunissess Hernandez who ousted Councilman Gil Cedillo.