Nearly three months since the Los Angeles Mayoral Race was called to a finish, Mayor Karen Bass became the 43rd mayor of the second-largest city in the United States and the first woman and second African American to be elected into office.
Since then, Bass made waves in her first few months in office beginning with her first act in office where Bass declared a state of emergency on homelessness.
The 2022 Los Angeles mayoral election was regarded as one of the more publicized elections as former Mayor Eric Garcetti was ineligible to run again due to term limitations.
During the months of October and November, the debate became more heated after numerous scandals and controversies began appearing including the resignation of former Council President Nury Martinez after leaked audio of racist slurs being used.
The University of Southern California became another subject of interest after both candidates who went to USC and have connections to the institution had muddled histories with the school including Bass’s application and Rick Caruso’s time as president of the board.
Following Rick Caruso’s concession to Karen Bass in the Los Angeles mayoral race on Nov. 16th, community members question what’s next and where is the billionaire real estate developer since his loss.
Before running for public office, Caruso served as Chair of the USC Board of Trustees, stepping down in February 2022 to focus on his mayoral campaign. As he still holds a position as a board member, the question arises does Caruso plan on regaining his title as Chairman or will he continue to pursue a career in politics.
In an interview with NBC LA on November 8, Caruso confirmed he will not run for re-election regardless of the outcome.
“One and done. This is it,” he said.
Caruso clarified his intentions were never to make a career out of politics but to serve his city. Moving forward, his goals from before his candidacy remain the same.
“It’s not that I don’t love politics and that I don’t love my city,” he said. “I will continue to support and serve my city and the communities that our family has always supported.”
Although Caruso stated his intentions of not pursuing a political career, he remains adamant about working with community partners to best help the city of Los Angeles. His previously held position as the president of the Los Angeles Police Commission in 2003 could lead to similar opportunities to have a pivotal role in the city.
With Caruso’s campaign highlighting the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles, his actions could mirror those of former LA mayoral candidate, Wendy Gruel. Gruel lost the mayoral race in 2013 but now currently works with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to solve homelessness issues in the city.
Regardless of his next steps, mayoral elect Karen Bass encouraged Caruso to continue fighting for Los Angeles via a post on her Twitter page.
“[Rick Caruso] is someone who I hope continues his civic participation in the city that we both love,” she said. “I have great respect for his commitment to serving the people of Los Angeles.”
Despite losing the election, Caruso expressed similar respect towards Mayor Bass during his concession statement and thanked his supporting cast around him for accompanying him throughout the journey.
“I’m proud of the work we did to engage long-neglected communities, giving a voice to the unheard, and to the light we shined on the biggest challenges facing our great city,” said Caruso in an interview with the LA Times. “There will be more to come from the movement we built, but for now, as a city, we need to unite around Mayor-elect Bass and give her the support she needs to tackle the many issues we face. Congratulations, Karen, and Godspeed.”
After spending an accumulated $100 million on his campaign, Caruso has settled back into his role in business and has continued to make an impact on the city of Los Angeles through his company, Caruso.
Affiliating with well-known businesses throughout the city such as The Grove, a popular shopping and dining area within Los Angeles.
It is unlikely that the public will see Caruso in any headlines soon.
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