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(Bloomberg) -- US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris endorsed Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass in the Los Angeles mayoral race as the party rallies around her campaign.
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Bass, who was on Biden’s shortlist for running mate in 2020, started out as a community activist and later became a six-term congresswoman representing a district in LA and a former speaker of the California assembly. She’s promised to tap her connections at the state and federal level to bring funds and resources for social services and housing to clean up the city.
“We are eager to continue to partner with her on innovative strategies to reduce homelessness and increase public safety and prosperity,” they said in a statement on Tuesday.
Bass finished ahead of her rival, billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso, in the final tally of the LA mayoral primary as the two candidates head into a runoff in November. Caruso, a one-time Republican, registered as a Democrat in January as his campaign kicked-off.
Caruso responded in a statement on Twitter, saying that political endorsements have no impact on the issues that matter to voters.
“After 20 years of representation from Karen Bass, LA needs fresh leadership who can take our city in a positive direction and make it more livable,” Caruso said in a post. “The same old from establishment politicians won’t stop this city from sliding into an even more desperate situation.”
If elected, Bass will become the city’s first female mayor, and the second Black person after Tom Bradley.
(Updates with comment from Caruso from fifth paragraph.)
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