In a tight primary election for Los Angeles mayor, the two frontrunners — Congresswoman Karen Bass and billionaire developer Rick Caruso — have seen their support split down the middle among major Hollywood players. Tuesday’s election could lead to a November runoff if none of the candidates garner more than 50% of the votes needed to conclusively win the election.
Over the last few months, celebrities and executives from all corners of the entertainment and tech industries have voiced their support for Bass and Caruso. Early on, actor and Goop CEO Gwyneth Paltrow threw her support behind Caruso, while pop star Ariana Grande has endorsed Bass on Instagram to her 315 million followers. Katy Perry recently tweeted her support for Caruso, while Shonda Rhimes co-hosted an event for Bass.
Bass has been a representative for California’s 37th congressional district — which covers USC, Culver City and most of L.A. south and west of Downtown — since 2011. She made headlines in 2020 when she was being considered as a potential running mate for President Joe Biden. Before serving in congress, Bass was a member of the California State Assembly for six years, including two as speaker. She has spent about $3.2 million on her campaign, according to the Wall St. Journal.
Caruso, who has spent some $40 million on his campaign so far, is the billionaire owner of the Grove at Farmers Market in L.A. and the Americana at Brand in Glendale. Beyond his real estate development projects, Caruso has served as the president of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, as well as commissioner of the L.A. Department of Water and Power. From 2018 to early 2022, Caruso served as the chairman of the board of trustees at USC, where he faced criticism for his handling of multiple university scandals, including the 2018 revelation that gynecologist George Tyndall had spent more than 30 years molesting thousands of patients at the school’s student health center. He was a registered as a Republican and Independent before registering as a Democrat in February 2022.
Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Snoop Dogg, Maria Shriver and George Lopez are among the celebrities who have voiced their support for Caruso. Dana Walden, chairman of entertainment for Walt Disney Television, has also said she supports Caruso. Other executives in Caruso’s camp include talent manager Scooter Braun, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos and CAA co-chairman Bryan Lourd. Several of Caruso’s high-profile supporters have business interests at his malls, such as Paltrow, Sarandos and AMC’s Adam Aron.
Bass has garnered support from names including Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, J.J. Abrams, Donald Glover, Magic Johnson, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Garner, Norman Lear, Tracee Ellis Ross and Yvette Nicole Brown. Former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner, director-producer Phil Lord and television producer David Nevins have also supported Bass’ candidacy.
Karen Bass supporters include:
Tracee Ellis Ross
Yvette Nicole Brown
Rick Caruso supporters include: