Congresswoman Karen Bass In A Tight Race Against Billionaire Rick Caruso For L.A. Mayor

The wealthy developer spent $9 million in campaign ads ahead of June 7 primary.

Congresswoman Karen Bass is the frontrunner to be mayor of Los Angeles but the race has recently tightened.

According to a March 29 UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times,  billionaire developer Rick Caruso has the support of 24% of likely voters and Bass has 23%. Although it’s only a one-point lead, the Los Angeles Times reports he has tripled his support since joining the race in February.

Caruso has spent  $9 million in television advertisements. Bass has not aired television ads as of yet.

Caruso’s spokesperson said in a statement, "Today's poll shows what we are seeing around Los Angeles. Rick Caruso's commitment to dealing with homelessness, crime, and corruption at City Hall is leading to fast growing support with voters. L.A. needs a Mayor that doesn't work for special interests to solve our problems. Rick Caruso can clean up L.A., his only special interest is Los Angeles."

A spokesperson for Bass added, “I have no doubt that if Congresswoman Bass had $10 million to spend, her polling numbers would have tripled, too. Caruso has shattered every record for Mayoral campaign spending, Bass hasn't spent a dime on paid ads -- but they're neck and neck. In a city increasingly defined by inequity, Angelenos understand the difference between a candidate who has to earn their support and someone trying to buy votes with their personal wealth."

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Bass got her start as a community organizer. In 1990, she founded the Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment in response to the crack cocaine epidemic that had devastated south Los Angeles. She was also the state Assembly speaker before being elected to Congress in 2011. From 2019 to 2021,  she was the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

RELATED: Why CBC Chair Karen Bass Endorsed Joe Biden

The primary is scheduled for June 7.

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