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Crime-Focused LA Mayoral Race Heading For Runoff After Former Republican Wins Big

The Los Angeles mayoral race is headed for a runoff after no one candidate cleared 50% of the vote, with former Republican and billionaire Rick Caruso winning a plurality of the vote.

Democratic Rep. Karen Bass is projected to face Caruso in the November runoff, beating out seven other candidates who campaigned for the office. As of Tuesday night, Bass had 37% of the votes and Caruso received 41%, according to multiple election trackers.

Caruso trailed Bass in a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times released Sunday. Bass garnered 38% of the respondents’ vote, while 32% supported Caruso and 15% were undecided.

The billionaire focused on addressing rising crime and homelessness during the campaign and gathered endorsements from Snoop Dogg and Kim Kardashian, Politico reported.

The stark rise in crime, including a nationwide increase in the violent crime rate by 5.6% between 2019 to 2020, has made the issue a top priority for voters, Charles Lehman, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute working on policing and public safety, told The Daily Caller News Foundation prior to election day.

“Most voters have grown accustomed to a comparatively low level of violent crime and apparently low level of disorder over the past 20 to 30 years,” Lehman said. “Over the past two years, we’ve seen that status quo degrade.”

Bass, who President Joe Biden previously considered adding to his 2020 presidential ticket, had a softer platform when it came to combating crime. Her campaign website stated that community organizations and trained experts, as opposed to police, should be given resources to deal with the root causes of crime.

However, the congresswoman has said the phrase “defund the police” was “probably one of the worst slogans ever” and that she would transfer 250 Los Angeles police officers out of desk jobs and into patrol, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Chesa Boudin, a former deputy public defender who became the district attorney of San Francisco in 2019, is also expected to lose his recall election Tuesday night after a tenure of soft-on-crime policies, Politico reported.

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