Rick Caruso and Karen Bass appear to be headed to a November runoff, if early returns hold up in the race for mayor of Los Angeles.
Caruso took a three-point lead over Bass in the early results, with about 41% of the vote to Bass’ 38%. If neither candidate wins a majority, the top two finishers will face each other again in the fall.
“No one’s going to win outright tonight,” said Mike Feuer, the L.A. city attorney, in an interview on Fox 11. “It’s going to be a runoff.”
Kevin De Leon, a city councilman, trailed far behind the top two with 7%, followed by Gina Viola at 5%. Turnout appeared to be very low, though ballots are still coming in.
Caruso, a billionaire real estate developer and former city commissioner, has dominated the airwaves after pouring $37.5 million of his own money into his campaign.
Bass, a six-term congresswoman from Baldwin Hills, was able to consolidate support from Democratic officials and much of liberal Hollywood.
A few candidates dropped out in the final weeks of the campaign. Feuer ended his campaign and endorsed Bass, while councilman Joe Buscaino threw his support to Caruso.
Caruso has pitched himself as an outsider who will shake up City Hall, adding police officers and building 30,000 beds to shelter the homeless. Bass has meanwhile emphasized her skills as a legislator in Washington and Sacramento and has pledged to house 15,000 homeless people within the first year of taking office.
Bass’ campaign has also sought to portray Caruso as a Republican whose values are out of step with most Los Angeles voters. In recent days, the campaign released an ad comparing Caruso to President Trump, calling him a “tax-dodging, tax return-hiding, divisive real estate developer.”
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers, has paid for ads attacking Bass for missing votes in Congress and for accepting free tuition for a social work program at USC.
Caruso was set to address his supporters at The Grove, his shopping mall in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, on Tuesday evening. Bass was due to appear at the W Hotel in Hollywood.
In another race that has attracted attention, Los Angeles County sheriff Alex Villanueva appeared to be headed to a runoff against Robert Luna, the former Long Beach police chief.