Democracy in Action « 2022 Elections « Mayor of the City of Los Angeles

Next L.A. Mayor Faces Many Challenges            
  Homelessness and Crime Are Dominant Issues in the Race to Succeed Eric Garcetti

May 23 - Rick Caruso garnering endorsements.
May 28 - Karen Bass at Playa Vista farmer's market.
June 3 - Kevin de León visits Olvera Street in final push.  
Mar. 26 - People's Budget Candidate Forum.
Mar. 30 - Craig Greiwe meet and greet in Venice.
May 23 - Ramit Varma ends his campaign and endorses Rick Caruso.
Feb. 11 - Rick Caruso files.
Mar. 12 - Karen Bass launches voter engagement.

Mar. 22 - Scene at the second debate.

 [debate and forum details]  [most recent tweets]
ended campaign May 12,
endorsed Caruso
ended campaign May 17,
endorsed Bass
timeline timeline
ended campaign May 23,
endorsed Caruso
Also on the ballot: John “Jsamuel” Jackson   |   Andrew Kim  

Candidates Work to Get Their Messages Out

(ema, updated May 28, 2022) - Homelessness and crime are the dominant issues in the race for mayor of Los Angeles, but there are many other challenges facing the nation's second largest city including affordable housing, traffic, building a vibrant economy for all of the city's residents, and corruption.  Twelve candidates qualified for the June 7 primary ballot; the top two finishers in the primary will face each other in the Nov. 8 general election.

The field of candidates took shape over many months. 
Five were seen by mainstream media to have a credible chance of winning: Congresswoman Karen Bass, Councilman Joe Buscaino, developer Rick Caruso, Councilman Kevin de León, and City Attorney Mike Feuer.  Of these, Feuer was first in, on Mar. 9, 2020, around which time the COVID pandemic struck, putting a hold on everything; a year later Buscaino announced his candidacy (Mar. 15, 2021), followed by de León (Sept. 21), Bass (Sept. 27) and Caruso, a late entrant (Feb. 11, 2022).  In addition to these five, the lesser known long-shot candidates brought a range of ideas, perspectives and experience to the race. 

During the closing weeks of the campaign, the race took on a different shape as several candidates withdrew.  Buscaino pulled out on May 12 and endorsed Caruso,  Feuer ended his quest on May 17 and endorsed Bass, and Varma ended his campaign on May 23 and endorsed Caruso.

The primary campaign was conducted at a time when many COVID restrictions were lifted as the pandemic appeared to be waning.  There were still virtual and hybrid events,
and early on some events required proof of vaccination and had masking partially observed (indoors but not outdoors), but as the months progressed there were an increasing number of in-person events.  Four televised debates were held and candidates participated in many forums organized by various groups.  Several events, including the first debate, were disrupted by protesters.  Candidates sought and touted endorsements; Bass did particularly well in terms of endorsements from organizations and elected officials.  Caruso is operating on a different track.  A self-funder, he has put over $30 million into his campaign (>), while eschewing most forums.  Feuer took an interesting approach of visiting all 101 neighborhoods.  Lesser known candidates, although excluded from forums, hampered by limited resources and receiving little attention from the media, also worked hard to get their messages out through small events, canvassing and social media.

Voters can vote via vote by mail ballot starting May 9. 
As of Jan. 2022. there were more than 2.1 million registered voters in the City of Los Angeles (>).  In the last mayoral election, on Mar. 7, 2017, turnout was only about 20.1%, but that race was not competitive as Mayor Eric Garcetti won a second term with 81.37% of the vote.  Since then, the law has changed to consolidate L.A.'s municipal elections with statewide elections, so they occur in even rather than in odd-numbered years.  This and the fact that there is a competitive race should result in higher turnout. 

During the six-day filing period, which ran from Feb. 7-12, 2022 twenty-seven candidates filed a declaration of intention to run for mayor.  Candidates then had until March 9 to file nominating petitions; 12 did so successfully (>).  Also on the ballot running for City of Los Angeles offices are seven candidates for city attorney, seven candidates for controller, 29 candidates for city council in the eight odd-numbered districts, and candidates for the board of education.
Being mayor of Los Angeles is a big job.  The City of Los Angeles is home to 3.9 million people according to the 2020 Census (>).  According to Wikipedia the City covers 502.7 square miles; it extends from Sylmar and Granada Hills in the North to San Pedro in the South (44 miles North-South) and from West Hills and Woodland Hills in the West to El Sereno in the East (29 miles East-West) (1, 2), although these distances seem much longer when one is stuck in traffic.  The FY'21-'22 City of Los Angeles budget was almost $11.5 billion (>).  To achieve his or her policy objectives, a mayor must be able to work with the fractious 15-person City Council.  The most successful mayor in recent times was Tom Bradley, who served five terms from 1973 to 1993.  He was followed by Richard J. Riordan, James K. Hahn, Antonio Villaraigosa and Garcetti.

Televised Debates and Some of the Many Forums [details]:
Series - Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall: 2022 Mayoral Series  (Feb. 15 - Buscaino; Mar. 15 - Feuer; May 24 - Bass)
Series - AIA Los Angeles: Forums  (Apr. 12 - de León; Apr. 25 - Feuer; Apr. 27 - Buscaino; May 9 - Bass; May 16 - Viola and Varma; May 26 - Caruso)

May 20 - Televised debate hosted by The Los Angeles Times and KCRW

May 18 - Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association (SOHA) Debate

May 4 - Westchester-Playa Democratic Club Debate

May 1 - Televised debate hosted by the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA, ABC7/KABC-TV Los Angeles, and the League of Women Voters of Greater Los Angeles at Cal State LA

Apr. 30 - AAPI Mayoral Forum  ... Pilipino Workers Center, the Filipino Voter Empowerment Project

Apr. 22 - City of Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Forum on Education

Apr. 21 - Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters (LALCV) Debate

Apr. 20 - Southern California Association of Non Profit Housing (SCANPH): Mayoral Candidate Forum on Affordable Housing and Homelessness

Apr. 14 - Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce: Mayoral Forum

Apr. 5 - Los Angeles Mayoral Candidates Forum on Animal Welfare (virtual)

Mar. 26 - Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles: People's Budget Candidate Forum

Mar. 26 - National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW): Los Angeles Mayoral Debate

Mar. 22 - Televised debate hosted by The Los Angeles Times, USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future and FOX 11 LA at USC

Mar. 21 - SFV Faith Communities and Service Providers: L.A. Mayoral Dialogue on Homelessness

Mar. 21 - United Chambers of Commerce (SFV Region): Mayoral Forum

Mar. 8 - Provider Alliance to End Homelessness: L.A. Mayoral Candidate Forum (virtual)

Feb. 28 - L.A. Business Council 2022 Candidate Series: Mayoral Candidate Forum

Feb. 27 - San Pedro Democratic Club: Los Angeles & Long Beach Mayoral & L.A County Sheriff Candidate Forum

Feb. 22 - Televised debate hosted by Thomas & Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyal Marymount University, aired on Spectrum News 1

Dec. 12 - Stonewall Democratic Club: Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Forum

See also:
Los Angeles Times - L.A. Mayoral Election

City of Los Angeles Ethics Commission Filings (to Dec. update Apr. 23)

City of Los Angeles  |  Open Budget
L.A. Office of the Controller - Adopted Budgets

City of Los Angeles - Neighborhood Councils

back >