Democratic U.S. Representative Karen Bass defeated millionaire businessman Rick Caruso in the race to become the next mayor of Los Angeles, California.
The first Black woman to hold the position is Bass, 69. Her victory comes as the city battles an unchecked homelessness problem, rising crime rates, and many scandals that have eroded confidence in the leadership.
"Now is the moment to go to work and change the course of our city. People need to be housed right away, community safety and opportunity should be improved, and City Hall needs to adopt a new code of ethics and accountability "According to Bass' statement.
Bass's victory "sends a clear message about the kind of Los Angeles we want and envision for ourselves," according to LACDP Chair Mark J. Gonzalez.
He continued, "We've always maintained this election is about the character of Los Angeles and voters clearly spoke out to reject an effort to purchase this race. "I'm delighted to congratulate Mayor-elect Karen Bass and am confident that she and her staff will get started right away with the kind of vision we need to keep moving toward a future of diversity, equity, and purpose."
By the time more than 70% of the ballots were counted, Bass had accumulated an unbeatable advantage of around 47,000 votes. Caruso scored 46.9%, while she received 53.1%.
Bass defeated the millionaire Caruso's campaign, which spent more than $100 million on it, by presenting herself as a coalition-builder who could provide stability to a city of over 4 million people.
Caruso signified a move to the political right as a former Republican who switched parties just before the election. Bass and other seasoned politicians, in his view, were a contributing factor in the various crises that Los Angeles experienced. In order to address the rising crime rate, he pledged to increase the police force. He also promised to remove homeless camps off the streets as soon as possible.