In an electoral contest that divided Hollywood celebrities down the middle, six-term Democrat Congresswoman Karen Bass has been elected the 43rd Mayor of Los Angeles, ‘Variety’ reports quoting Associated Press projections.
Real estate developer and fellow Democrat Rick Caruso, who was supported by Katie Perry, ‘Avengers’ star Chris Pratt and Netflix boss Ted Sarandos, called Bass to concede the race on Wednesday evening (U.S. Pacific Time).
Bass, the first woman to be elected to the office, had garnered support from a large swath of Hollywood, including Ari Emanuel, Shonda Rhimes, Rosario Dawson, Steven Spielberg, J J Abrams and Jeffrey Katzenberg – the former Fox Studios boss and co-founder of DreamWorks Animation had put $1.85 million into a committee to support the mayor-elect’s candidacy.
“The people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message. It is time for change and it is time for urgency,” Bass said in a statement. “I am honoured and humbled that the people have chosen me to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles.”
The election was necessitated by the departure of Eric Garcetti, who’s U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee for Ambassador to India and is still awaiting Senate confirmation.
Bass said work has already begun to tackle homelessness and crime, the two major issues to be highlighted during the mayoral campaign. And she vowed that “Los Angeles is no longer going to be unaffordable for working families – good jobs and affordable housing construction are on the way.”
Bass holds a 6.1 per cent lead over Caruso as of the latest update on Wednesday afternoon, with a margin of 46,578 votes. More than 200,000 ballots remained to be counted, but as Bass had widened her margin, the chance of a Caruso comeback became increasingly remote.