Rep. Karen Bass formally launched her campaign for mayor of Los Angeles on Monday in a move that will reshape the contest to lead America’s second-largest city.
Bass (D-Calif.) capped weeks of speculation by confirming she was running to replace outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti, saying in a statement she was joining the race “with my whole heart.” POLITICO reported Friday that Bass had decided to run.
“Our city is facing a public health, safety and economic crisis in homelessness that has evolved into a humanitarian emergency,” Bass said. “I’ve spent my entire life bringing groups of people together in coalitions to solve complex problems and produce concrete change — especially in times of crisis.”
A well-known figure in Los Angeles politics after being state Assembly speaker and serving multiple terms in Congress, Bass enters the race with the advantages of broad name recognition and support from liberal and Black voters. She has already drawn pledges of support from progressive donors and the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus.
It is overwhelmingly likely the next mayor of Los Angeles will be a Democrat given the city’s liberal politics. Democratic City Council members Joe Buscaino and Kevin de León and City Attorney Mike Feuer had entered the race before Bass.
President Joe Biden earlier this year nominated Garcetti to be ambassador to India. Garcetti’s confirmation hearings have not yet been scheduled and it is unclear how close to the scheduled June primary he would depart, should he win Senate confirmation. He cannot run for re-election next year due to term limits.