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Caruso Becomes Frontrunner for LA Mayor

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Floyd Ciruli

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The latest LA Times poll (published April 11, 2022) has Los Angeles businessman, Rick Caruso, in first place for the race for mayor in an election less than eight weeks away (June 7). Caruso, in his first run for political office, only announced for mayor on February 11, 2022 and was at the bottom of early polls with better-known candidates.

LA mayor's race

Since his announcement, he has spent $9 million, mostly on television and social media in a near saturation campaign. The other main candidates have made minimum expenditures, although Karen Bass, the other leading candidate, has money to spend at this point ($2 million). Expect big, big money to be invested in the race.

Homelessness, crime and affordable housing are top issues. The attack ads will start soon. At the recent debate, as one would expect, Caruso got the most airtime because he had to respond to the most attacks. His best lines: “There’s 63 years of career politicians on this stage” and “There’s a lot of empty promises.” Bass defended the political establishment with “stop denigrating” career politicians, “people who devote their life to public service.”

Most LA voters describe themselves as liberal (61%), 14 percent conservative and 25 percent moderate. In 1993, the last time a Republican was elected in LA (Richard Riordan) 29 percent were liberal or conservative and 65 percent moderate. The city has shifted to the left, but the issues today are law and order and economic security – better for a more conservative candidate, especially with a non-political image and “get things done” track record.

LA Mayoral Debate

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