Democratic California Rep. Karen Bass was elected mayor of Los Angeles, The Associated Press projected Wednesday, beating real estate developer and former Republican Rick Caruso in a race featuring his massive campaign spending and delayed results largely due to mail-in ballots.
Bass and Caruso had debated over Los Angeles’ rising crime and homelessness crisis, according to CBS News. Caruso spent roughly $100 million of his own money on the race, while Bass fundraised about $8 million, Politico reported.
By Monday, mail-in ballots were still arriving and regarded as eligible for counting if they bore Election Day postmarks, and hundreds of thousands were yet to be counted, according to ABC 7. Local election officials are legally required to contact voters who forgot to sign their ballots and randomly audit election day returns, KTLA reported.
“I am honored and grateful for the support we are continuing to see,” Bass tweeted that evening. “I am optimistic and looking forward to the next update.”
Bass will take over for incumbent Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was first elected in 2013. In March, Garcetti seemed to pin Los Angeles County losing 160,000 residents primarily on high housing costs instead of surging crime and mental health issues related to homelessness.
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