Hillary Clinton endorses Karen Bass in Los Angeles mayoral race
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed Rep. Karen Bass in the Los Angeles mayoral race Thursday, characterizing Bass as “a proven leader who will bring Angelenos together to solve problems while championing women’s rights and opportunities for young people.”
In a statement, Bass said, “I’m proud to have worked with Secretary Clinton in Los Angeles, Washington and overseas on issues we both care about, including reforms to keep children and families from homelessness and to stop cycles of poverty.”
Bass emerged from the June primary as the front-runner in the mayor’s race, finishing with a seven-point lead over Rick Caruso, who poured tens of millions of dollars into his campaign.
Bass has racked up a near monopoly on endorsements from establishment Democratic politicians on both the national and state level, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and Secretary of State Shirley Weber have also backed Bass, as have many members of the Legislature.
Those endorsements have helped sharpen the contrasts between Bass, a lifelong Democrat, and Caruso, a former Republican and no party preference voter who changed his party affiliation to Democrat in late January.
Caruso, who has campaigned as an outsider and frequently criticized elected officials as ill-equipped to solve the city’s problems, has received little support from establishment figures in the party.
Aside from a handful of high-profile celebrity endorsements, Caruso’s most prominent backing has come from business and law enforcement groups.
Rep. Karen Bass wants to frame her mayoral campaign as part of a national partisan battle. Not all agree that endorsements from national Democratic figures would help.
The politically powerful Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file Los Angeles Police Department officers, endorsed the former Police Commission president shortly after he entered the race.
The political action committees of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Los Angeles County Business Federation, known as BizFed, have also thrown their weight behind the real estate developer. A handful of current and former elected officials, including former Republican Mayor Richard Riordan and Councilmen John Lee and Joe Buscaino, have endorsed Caruso.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have yet to weigh in on the race.
During the city’s last open mayoral race in 2013, former President Clinton endorsed Garcetti’s opponent, Wendy Greuel, who had been an early and active backer of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Though she backed President Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, Bass endorsed Clinton early in the 2016 race, announcing her support days after Clinton formally launched her candidacy in April 2015.
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