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L.A. Voters Choose Karen Bass For Mayor Over Billionaire Rick Caruso

5:19 PM PST on November 16, 2022

    photo: Brittany Bravo for LA TACO

    The morning after election night, things were looking good for billionaire Rick Caruso. Despite his underdog status, he held a small margin over Congresswoman Karen Bass at that point.

    But steadily over the next week, with each and every update, Bass gained increasingly more votes than Caruso. She is currently six points ahead of the real estate developer, or about 50,000 votes. Enough for the Associated Press to call the race in favor of Bass.

    And with that, Karen Bass becomes L.A.'s first Black woman mayor.

    But just barely.

    Fifty-thousand votes is a near-impossible deficit to overcome at this point but a lot of people on the left are surprised this race was so close to begin with.

    Caruso was a life-long republican who only switched parties shortly before running for mayor, with little-to-no experience in politics.

    Bass is a South L.A.-born, former non-profit leader, and current congresswoman who was once on a short list to become Joe Biden's running-mate.

    Still, Caruso was able to dominate airwaves and reach Angelenos who don't typically participate in elections, thanks largely to the $100 million+ in funds that he donated to his own campaign. Going into election day, polls showed that Caruso was only a few points behind Bass.

    Ultimately, Caruso will go down as one of the biggest losers when it comes to spending massively on a campaign to no avail. Fellow Billionaire Michael Bloomberg famously spent more than $100 million on his campaign to be a third term mayor of New York City, but actually won.

    Obviously, money doesn't always translate to victory in politics. More recently, Bloomberg spent almost a billion dollars on his presidential run and we all know how that went. In one of the most expensive local campaigns of all time, Meg Whitman, the former head of Ebay, spent more than $140 million of her own money on her campaign to become Governor of California in 2010, but lost.

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