Billionaire mall magnate Rick Caruso is headed to a runoff election with Rep. Karen Bass after both candidates failed to garner the 50% of the vote needed to win Tuesday’s election for mayor of Los Angeles.
As of late Tuesday local time, Caruso had received 41% of the vote to Bass’ 37% when the Associated Press reported the race would advance to a runoff.
The two candidates will now face off on Nov. 8 for the right to replace term-limited Mayor Eric Garcetti.
While the crowded primary featured 12 candidates, the race was largely considered to just be a contest between Bass and Caruso as the two mayoral prospects overtook each other in the polls.
In the most recent poll conducted ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Bass held 38% of voter support while Caruso carried 32%. At the time of the survey, which was conducted by the LA Times in late May, 15% of voters still remained undecided.
Caruso – a pro-business billionaire Republican-turned-Democrat – garnered massive support from high-profile celebrities including actress Gwyneth Paltrow, singer-songwriter Katy Perry, reality TV star Kim Kardashian and billionaire Elon Musk.
Several celebrities have also voiced their support for Bass, including directors Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams as well as actresses Jennifer Garner, Octavia Spencer and Tracee Ellis Ross.
While Caruso did not enter the contest for LA mayor until February, Bass announced she would be leaving her position in Congress to enter the race in September.
At the time, the six-term congresswoman said she would heavily be focusing on the homelessness crisis in the city through addressing the root causes behind it, which she describes as “lack of affordable housing, health care, access to job opportunities and residential alcohol and drug treatment.”
On Tuesday, Bass emphasized to Fox News that as mayor she would be “smart on crime.”
“My plan calls for getting officers on the beat immediately in neighborhoods that want to see an increased police presence,” she told the outlet. “But I believe the quickest way to get officers on the beat is to get them from behind the desk.”
Before running for LA mayor, Bass was believed to be on President Biden’s shortlist for a running mate in the 2020 presidential election. She has served in Congress since 2013.
Caruso has also taken a strict stance on crime, vowing to put 1,500 additional police officers on the streets of the City of Angels.