Liberal Los Angeles could win the mayor's race

Los Angeles is a heavily Democratic city and many voters are angry at rising crime and homelessness.

Liberal Los Angeles could win the mayor's race

Los Angeles is a heavily Democratic city and many voters are angry at rising crime and homelessness. This could lead to the city turning to the political left for the first time since decades.

One of the leading candidates for mayor is Rick Caruso, a pro-business billionaire Republican-turned-Democrat who sits on the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and is promising to expand spending on police, not defund them.

A different time, the resort and high-end mall developer would be an unlikely choice to lead the nation's 2nd-most populous municipality, where democratic socialist Bernie Sanders was the clear winner in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. The progressive City Hall supports so-called sanctuary city protections, which protect illegal immigrants from the United States, and "Green New Deal” climate policies.

Los Angeles is experiencing difficult times. More than 40,000 people live in homeless encampments, rusty RVs and are in distress from brazen smash-and grab robberies, home invasions and inflation. Gasoline in an area built on car travel has risen to $6 per gallon. Both rents and home prices are on the rise.

Caruso spends millions of his $4.3 billion fortune to fund a seemingly endless display of TV and internet ads to tap into voter anxiety. The question is whether enough people will support his plans to hire 1,500 police officers, and he promises to keep unhoused people off streets while not rejoicing about his wealth.

Twelve names are on the June 7th primary election ballot, but several have dropped out. The race is now a fight between Caruso (Democratic U.S. Rep. Karen Bass), who was on the shortlist of vice president candidates for Joe Biden.

No candidate can clear 50%, which is very likely in a crowded ballot. The top two finishers will advance to a November race. Bass could be the first Black woman to hold this office.

In a city known for being indifferent to local politics, Bass and Caruso may not be well-known.

"Part of this will be how people feel about their friends and family as they get to know each other better. Bill Carrick, a veteran Democratic consultant, said that the question is still open to interpretation. He believes voters are searching for solutions for crime and homelessness, not obsessing about past political affiliations. Technically, the contest is not partisan.

Bass, 68 is a favourite of the party's progressive wing. Caruso, 63 is a political shape-shifter and calls himself a "centrist pro-jobs, pro public safety Democrat."

According to government records, Caruso was a Republican for more than two decades before becoming independent in 2011. In 2016, Caruso switched back to Republican, a year in which he was the California campaign co-chair of Republican John Kasich's presidential bid. He then became an independent in 2019. Shortly after he entered the race for mayor, he became a Democrat.

Democrats have criticised him for his donations to both political parties. He's also been criticized for his lavish lifestyle that included a nine-bedroom yacht.

Liberal Los Angeles could win the mayor's race

MICHAEL R. BLOOD

Today

FILE - Rick Caruso, a businessman, waves as he begins a mayoral debate at The Student Union Theater at California State University, Los Angeles campus, Sunday, May 1, 2022. Los Angeles is a predominantly Democratic city. But voters could make a change this year. Caruso is a former Republican billionaire who is running for mayor. He is promising to increase police funding, and not decrease it. (Ringo Chiu/Los Angeles Times via AP, File)

1 of 5

FILE - Rick Caruso, a businessman, waves as he begins a mayoral debate at The Student Union Theater at California State University, Los Angeles campus, Sunday, May 1, 2022. Los Angeles is a predominantly Democratic city. But voters could make a change this year. Caruso is a former Republican billionaire who is running for mayor. He is promising to increase police funding, and not decrease it. (Ringo Chiu/Los Angeles Times via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP), Many Los Angeles voters are angry at rising crime and homelessness. This could lead to the city moving to the right for the first-time in decades.

One of the leading candidates for mayor is Rick Caruso, a pro-business billionaire Republican-turned-Democrat who sits on the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and is promising to expand spending on police, not defund them.

A different time, the resort and high-end mall developer would be an unlikely choice to lead the nation's 2nd-most populous municipality, where democratic socialist Bernie Sanders was the clear winner in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. The progressive City Hall supports so-called sanctuary city protections, which protect illegal immigrants from the United States, and "Green New Deal” climate policies.

Los Angeles is experiencing difficult times. More than 40,000 people live in homeless encampments, rusty RVs and are in distress from brazen smash-and grab robberies, home invasions and inflation. Gasoline in an area built on car travel has risen to $6 per gallon. Both rents and home prices are on the rise.

ADVERTISEMENT

Caruso spends millions of his $4.3 billion fortune to fund a seemingly endless display of TV and internet ads to tap into voter anxiety. The question is whether enough people will support his plans to hire 1,500 police officers, and he promises to keep unhoused people off streets while not rejoicing about his wealth.

Twelve names are on the June 7th primary election ballot, but several have dropped out. The race is now a fight between Caruso (Democratic U.S. Rep. Karen Bass), who was on the shortlist of vice president candidates for Joe Biden.

No candidate can clear 50%, which is very likely in a crowded ballot. The top two finishers will advance to a November race. Bass could be the first Black woman to hold this office.

In a city known for being indifferent to local politics, Bass and Caruso may not be well-known.

"Part of this will be how people feel about their friends and family as they get to know each other better. Bill Carrick, a veteran Democratic consultant, said that the question is still open to interpretation. He believes voters are searching for solutions for crime and homelessness, and not obsessing about past political affiliations. Technically, the contest is not partisan.

Bass, 68 is a favourite of the party's progressive wing. Caruso, 63 is a political shape-shifter and calls himself a "centrist pro-jobs, public safety Democrat."

According to government records, Caruso was a Republican for more than two decades before becoming independent in 2011. In 2016, Caruso switched back to Republican, a year in which he was the California campaign co-chair of Republican John Kasich's presidential bid. He then became an independent in 2019. Shortly after he entered the race for mayor, he became a Democrat.

Democrats have criticised him for his donations to both political parties. He's also been criticized for his lavish lifestyle that included a nine-bedroom yacht.

The race for the mayor is one of many in the state's primaries where political loyalty are being tested by questions regarding the direction of California's dominant Democratic Party. This party holds every state office and commands large margins in Congress and the Legislature.

Voters in San Francisco are considering recalling District Attorney Chesa Bodin. A Democrat, Boudin is being criticized for failing to prosecute repeat offenders. Meanwhile, Rob Bonta, Democratic state attorney general, is facing numerous challengers. Bonta claims he prefers criminal justice reform to victims.

Los Angeles' looming question is: Who will show up? Around 80% of voters did not cast ballots in 2017 when Eric Garcetti, outgoing Mayor, was reelected.

Los Angeles is experiencing a profound disillusionment with its government. The challenge for Caruso and Bass, as well as other contenders, is convincing voters that change is possible.

Yorum yapabilmek için üye girişi yapmanız gerekmektedir.

Üye değilseniz hemen üye olun veya giriş yapın.

NEXT NEWS