Outsider Rick Caruso leading in Los Angeles mayoral race against Rep. Karen Bass

Rick Caruso and Karen Bass
Karen Bass and Rick Caruso. AP Photos

Outsider Rick Caruso leading in Los Angeles mayoral race against Rep. Karen Bass

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Business tycoon Rick Caruso has pulled out a surprising early lead for mayor in the Los Angeles midterm election, leaving the Democratic Party machine candidate Rep. Karen Bass trailing behind by 3 percentage points.

Political newcomer Caruso, who had switched from Republican to Democrat, has gained momentum in recent weeks and appears on track to defeat the more progressive Bass. As of 7 a.m. ET, Caruso led Bass by about 12,000 votes with 44% of ballots counted.

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Throughout the campaign, Caruso has relished his stance as an outsider and positioned himself as someone who can fix the problems in LA. Bass stressed her experience, saying she could help tackle crime and homelessness. Caruso has built many of the city’s iconic landmarks and hotels, while Bass has held office first in the state legislature and then in Congress since 2004.

“We have dreams of a better life to make come true for so many. And I come here tonight in full anticipation and excitement about what is to come and what we can do together,” Caruso said Tuesday night at his election eve party.

Bass spoke to her supporters as well.

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“We have run a campaign of hope, a campaign that says, ‘This is the greatest city in the world, and yes, we have serious problems, but we can master those problems,'” she said.

Caruso may have benefited from a last-minute celebrity blitz of endorsements that included Katy Perry and Chris Pratt, while Vice President Kamala Harris was in town stumping for Bass.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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