Could U.S. Rep. Karen Bass become first Black woman mayor of Los Angeles?

US Democratic Representative Karen Bass has pulled ahead of billionaire developer Rick Caruso in the first round of the race to be the next Los Angeles mayor.

Bass got 41% of the votes a week after the primary, while Caruso received 38%, based on the update Tuesday. While that reversed the positions they were in a week ago when Caruso had 42% of the vote compared with 37% for Bass, the two will still face off again in November after both fell short of the outright majority needed to win in this round.

The number of ballots tallied so far is 1.3 million — or 22% of registered voters — with another almost 366,000 remaining to be counted, according to the county clerk’s office.

None of the remaining 10 candidates garnered more than 10% of ballots cast so far.

Residents of the second-largest US city will decide between two people who couldn’t be more different. Caruso developed high-end malls such as the Grove in Los Angeles, while Bass, a former community organizer, has been a US congresswoman for more than a decade.

The vote underscored the divide in dealing with the left-leaning city’s biggest issues from soaring homelessness to crime rates and housing costs. While Caruso is seen as the law-and-order candidate, Bass takes on a more ground-up approach reflective of her roots as a community leader, as they fight for the opportunity to reshape LA’s policy agenda as its first new mayor in almost nine years. 

Mayor Eric Garcetti was barred by a two-term limit from running again.

–With assistance from Brian Eckhouse and John Gittelsohn.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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