Congresswoman Karen Bass has won a closely contested race to be Los Angeles’ next mayor and will be the first woman to lead the city, after Wednesday’s latest update showed her with an insurmountable lead of more than 46,500 votes over developer Rick Caruso.
Caruso led the race slightly after Election Day, but Bass took the lead in last Friday’s updated vote count and has expanded it in each count since.
The new figures prompted The Associated Press to project that Bass would win the race. Bass led Caruso by over 46,500 votes following Wednesday’s update, opening up a 53% to 47% advantage more than a week since the Nov. 8 election.
An additional 103,126 ballots were added to the tally Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk for a total of nearly 2 million ballots counted so far.
An estimated 565,050 ballots were left to be processed after Tuesday’s update, according to the clerk’s office, but it was unclear how many of the uncounted votes are from the city of Los Angeles.
The last six updates after Election Day have all resulted in gains for Bass, who took the lead in the vote count on Friday and has expanded it since.
“I am honored and grateful for the support we are continuing to see,” Bass said Monday in a statement on Twitter.
Caruso has not commented on this week’s results. Last week, when the race was essentially even, Caruso described it as “a close race” as predicted.
Bass, a six-term member of Congress, is seeking to become the first woman and only the second Black person to lead Los Angeles. Caruso, a billionaire developer, is looking to win a campaign that was on track to spend more than $100 million — much of it from Caruso’s own fortune — to propel him into office.
The winner will inherit leadership of a city grappling with a worsening homelessness crisis and a scandal that has embroiled City Hall for the past month, after three council members and a top county labor official took part in a leaked conversation in October 2021 that included racist comments and attempts to manipulate redistricting.