Longtime LA politician Karen Bass is the projected winner to be elected as the first female mayor of Los Angeles.
Bass was projected to defeat billionaire Rick Caruso, a real-estate mogul backed by Elon Musk, who pledged change in LA, according to NBC News.
Karen Bass and Caruso were in a statistical tie early in the race for mayor of LA after Caruso ponied up nearly $100 million to fund his campaign.
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A week after Election Day, Bass proved victorious over her opponent.
On election night, Bass and Caruso were in a dead heat, with results polling right down the middle: 50, 50.
By Saturday, Bass had a slight lead over Caruso, with 52.15% of the votes.
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Prior to the election, a poll by the LA Times and UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies revealed Bass had nabbed 45% of likely voters with Caruso taking 41%.
Bass will take the place of Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was tapped as President Joe Biden’s pick for ambassador to India.
"This is a historic moment and a win for all Angelenos. Mayor-elect Bass has been a personal friend for decades, and her leadership has been a constant source of inspiration and guidance during my years in office. What Karen brings to this moment is unparalleled energy and experience, both legislative and lived, from which she will drive the city’s next chapter," Garcetti said later Wednesday, congratulating Bass.
The election comes weeks after LA City Council was tossed into upheaval over leaked audio recorded during a discussion over city redistricting. Then-president Nury Martinez, who has since stepped down, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo had a conversation that included racist slurs referring to the 2-year-old adopted Black son of Councilmember Mike Bonin.
Bass released a statement after the announcement that she was the projected winner and the new Mayor-elect.
In her statement she thanked her supporters and said that "the people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: it is time for change and it is time for urgency."
The rest of her statement read, in part:
"This evening, I received a gracious call from Rick Caruso, who is someone who I hope continues his civic participation in the city that we both love. I have great respect for his commitment to serving the people of Los Angeles.
This is my home, and with my whole heart, I'm ready to serve, and my pledge to you is that we will hit the ground running on Day One.
I am honored and humbled that the people have chosen me to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is the greatest city on earth. I know, if we come together, hold each other accountable, and focus on the best of who we are and what we can achieve, we can create better neighborhoods today and a better future for our children. To the people of Los Angeles, thank you. To the thousands of people who worked on my campaign, thank you. To everyone who will join our mission to move LA in a new direction, thank you. We will get big things done together."
Bass' opponent Caruso released a statement to his followers Wednesday evening after Bass was projected to win, calling the campaign "one of the most rewarding experiences of my life."
The statement read, in part:
"From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for your steadfast support and enthusiasm these last nine months. It has meant the absolute world to my family and me to count you and so many others, not just as supporters, but as fellow Angelenos who share the love and faith we have in this great place we call home.
This campaign has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am so proud of my campaign. We held true to the core values of our family – integrity, honesty, and respect for all.
While we came up short in the count, we made an indelible impact on this city and its people that will last far beyond the campaign trail or Election Day. We elevated the discourse of the campaign and focused attention on the issues that matter. From my first day as a candidate we relentlessly talked about the plight of the unhoused and the inhumanity of City policies that keep them on the streets, vulnerable and exposed, instead of inside where they can get services they need. From day one, we exposed the deep-seated corruption and built-in mechanisms that foster that corruption. We never wavered in our support for our first responders, the brave men and women of the LAPD, LAFD, and other law enforcement agencies who constantly amaze our communities with their courage, acts of heroism and service. Most of all, we never stopped believing that local government can and should be a force for good, a force that levels the playing field for everyone, a source of pride and inspiration that helps families achieve the American dream."
On Tuesday, Alex Villanueva conceded as sheriff. Read more here.
Bass has been a Democratic congresswoman since 2011. She grew up in the Venice/Fairfax area of Los Angeles.
In the 1990s, she helped gather a group of African-American and Latino community organizers to found Community Coalition, or CoCo, to help "transform the social and economic conditions in South Los Angeles."
In 2008, she became the first Black woman in the U.S. to serve as speaker of a state legislative body as 67th speaker of the California State Assembly.
Bass has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Celebrities such as Danny Trejo, Alyssa Milano, John Legend, America Ferrera, Jane Fonda, Rosario Dawson, Ken Jeong, Dulé Hill and J.J. Abrams have endorsed Bass in her mayoral run.
Bass and Caruso both agreed LA is in crisis over homelessness, and while both say they would declare a state of emergency, they have different ideas on how to tackle the problem.
Bass says she'll focus on building permanent housing, and focus on addressing why they lost their housing to begin with.
Bass says she will also partner closely with LA County to add capacity to mental health and substance abuse systems.
Bass beat Caruso by nearly 8 percentage points in the June primary.
Results will appear below as votes are being tallied.