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Primary elections: San Francisco DA recalled, LA mayoral race heads to runoff

Yahoo Finance Live anchors discuss California primary elections.

Video Transcript

- Turning our focus now to the West Coast, San Francisco voters recalling District Attorney Chesa Boudin as residents express frustration with the state of the city. I should point out, there's two elections that we've been watching, and that's both on the West Coast in California, in San Francisco's case, this recall of the district attorney who was seen as a real vocal leader nationally about criminal justice reform. You know, we don't often talk about local elections here.

- No.

- But this is an interesting one, because this is one of the most liberal cities in America and voters saying, look, we're tired of the crime that we're seeing. If you look at the numbers here, death rates from drug overdose is up nearly 400% over the last decade, hate crimes against Asian-Americans ticking up in a big way. That's not to say that's all because of this district attorney.

He's only been in office since 2019, but it is the voters expressing frustration against the state of the city right now. And in many ways, San Francisco is one of those cities that's been hardest hit during the pandemic, because there are so many people that exited. But yet, homelessness, crime is still a big concern.

- Yeah, absolutely. And it's a little bit maybe too early to read into what one city's DA election might mean for the overall kind of picture as we get closer to 2024, or even the midterms this year. But look, it's not usually the case that you look at these local elections and start to see notes from financial analysts that watch policy. I mean, I was looking at a note from Greg Valliere over at AGF, and he was saying that, really, the election in San Francisco, as you mentioned, one of the more liberal cities underscores that, in his view, at least, the US is a center right country still.

Now, people can disagree with that. But you look at other types of local elections, as well, not just in the primaries yesterday, but in New York City, right? After all the movements that we had seen around defunding the police, they still elected in the city a ex-cop in the form of Eric Adams, right? So you do kind of wonder about whether or not some of that rhetoric that you hear from who is perceived to be a little bit more leftist of a candidate, like an Elizabeth Warren, like Bernie Sanders, what does that mean for them in the midterm elections or in 2024 as well? It's certainly a valid question.

- And the other election that we saw yesterday was that for LA Mayor Rick Caruso, who's a multimillionaire developer, very well known to those who are out there. If you've been to the Grove, right, or the Americana? I mean, he's a developer behind those walls, and then he ran against Karen Bass, a longtime Congresswoman, who was seen as a shoo-in early on.

And Rick Caruso, at least, in this particular vote-- by the way, there's still going to be a vote in the fall. --came out ahead 42% to Bass' 37%. He outspent Karen Bass, we should say, $40 million of his own money. That is 12 times the amount that Karen Bass spent.

So some would argue, well, look, she had a lot of resources. But to your point, again, he has advocated for expanding the police force, which is not what Eric Garcetti, the current mayor, has been pushing for. And it does go against, yet again, in what is considered a more liberal city. Is there starting to be a bit of a backlash?

- Yeah, it a good thing to be associated with the Grove?

- By the way, she has named an avenue. I just noticed this on a recent trip. It's called Rick Caruso Way, I think. So he wants to be associated with that. I think it's at the Americana, which is the other mall, but--

- And the timing of that, I'm sure, is coincidental to his [INAUDIBLE] candidacy.

- Yeah, Rick Caruso Way, maybe it's Mayor Way. I don't know. We'll see. We'll continue to watch that.