Rick Caruso caused over $100 million in damage to Karen Bass

Businessman Rick Caruso may have spent more than $100 million on his campaign to become the next mayor of Los Angeles, but last night admitted defeat to Democratic Rep. Karen Bass.

Caruso, a former Republican, conceded Bass the race on Wednesday, and The Associated Press called the pick for the Democrat, who is the first woman ever elected to lead the California city.

Bass was outnumbered about 11 to 1, with her billionaire opponent breaking local campaign spending records.

Figures from the Los Angeles City Ethics Committee show that through Nov. 2, Caruso spent $104,848,887.43 in the mayoral race, while Bass spent $9,060,958.59.

This spending includes both the primary and general elections. Municipal elections in California are bipartisan, meaning Bass and Caruso emerged from an open primary.

Those numbers also showed that Bass had $772,707.77 in cash on hand, while Caruso had $335,933.10.

Caruso’s mayoral nomination is similar to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s successful campaign for a third term. In 2009, Bloomberg, who is a billionaire, spent $102 million of his own money to secure re-election, up from $85 million in his 2005 campaign and $74 million in 2001.

Caruso, a real estate developer, accelerated spending in the weeks before the campaign ended. According to financial data from September 25 to October 22, the campaign spent around $1 million per day during those 28 days.

His total spending had already surpassed $92 million by the end of October — a record-breaking number. Caruso launched his run for mayor in February, and the vast majority of his campaign spending was his own money.

Although the Caruso campaign broke local spending records, Bass emerged victorious. With 75 percent of the expected votes, the Democrat had 53.1 percent versus Caruso’s 46.9 percent.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done to engage long-neglected communities, give a voice to the unheard, and the light we’ve shed on the biggest challenges facing our great city,” said Caruso in his explanation of the race.

“There is still more to come from the movement we have built, but right now we must unite as a city around Mayor-Elect Bass and give her the support she needs to address the many issues we face . Happy birthday Karen and god speed,” he said.

news week has asked the Caruso campaign for an opinion.

Bass becomes the second black person to be elected Mayor of Los Angeles. She has been in the House of Representatives since 2011 and served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) from 2019 to 2021.

“The people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: It’s time for change and it’s time for urgency,” Bass said in a statement Wednesday.

Bass will succeed Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has led the city since 2013 but was unable to run again due to term limits.

Rick Caruso speaks to supporters
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso speaks to supporters during an election night party November 8, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Caruso spent more than $100 million on the race.
David McNew/Getty Images

https://www.newsweek.com/rick-caruso-spent-over-100m-loss-karen-bass-1760276 Rick Caruso caused over $100 million in damage to Karen Bass

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