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Real estate developer Rick Caruso, the billionaire known for creating the Grove, the Americana at Brand and the Palisades Village shopping centers, announced Friday that he’s running for mayor of Los Angeles after months of speculation. He filed his official declaration with L.A.’s city clerk just ahead of Saturday’s deadline.
“I believe in the LA dream — and I know that we can end homelessness, crime and corruption,” Caruso tweeted. “But the politicians can’t. That’s why today I formally began the process of running for Mayor of Los Angeles.”
The race to succeed Eric Garcetti, whose term ends this year and who has been nominated by the Biden administration to become ambassador to India, has already drawn a number of candidates including U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass; city attorney Mike Feuer; Los Angeles City Council members Kevin de León and Joe Buscaino; and Craig Griewe, chief strategy officer of Rogers & Cowan PMK.
Ahead of his official announcement that he’s entering the race, Caruso, a one-time Republican-turned-independent, recently re-registered as a Democrat. The primary will be held on June 7 with the two top finishers going on to the general election on Nov. 8.
Caruso told reporters on Friday after filing his declaration to run, “It’s a very meaningful day for me and my family. I love Los Angeles, I love the diversity of Los Angeles. I’m eager to be a part of this.” He has previously served as the head of L.A.’s Police Commission and currently is the chair of the University of Southern California’s board of trustees.
According to Variety, the first entertainment industry fundraiser planned in support of Caruso will be held by UTA co-president Jay Sures at his residences on Feb. 23.
Caruso, 63, has the wherewithal to pour huge amounts of money into his own campaign which could help vault him quickly into one of the frontrunners in the race. Among the earlier entrants in the race, Bass has already garnered significant Hollywood backing, with donors who include Jennifer Aniston, Alan and Cindy Horn, J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath, Amazon’s Jen Salke, Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner.
The real estate developer — who was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Beverly Hills, and is the son of the founder of Dollar Rent a Car — has previously said that he will not be a “typical” Democrat. “I will be a pro-centrist, pro-jobs, pro-public safety Democrat,” he has said.
He previously considered running for mayor of Los Angeles in 2013, even cutting commercials for the race before deciding he didn’t want to burden his family at that time.
In a 2015 profile of Caruso, THR noted that the Grove drew more annual visitors than Disneyland and that the shopping center’s trolley was designed by original Disney Imagineer George McGinnis and that back in the late 1990s, the developer had hired a veteran production designer, Richard Sawyer (The Two Jakes, The Three Amigos) to consult on creating appealing retail experiences. Said Caruso at the time, “We’re in the content and experience business.”
I believe in the LA dream — and I know that we can end homelessness, crime, and corruption. But the politicians can't.
That's why today I formally began the process of running for Mayor of Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/HwiFRFXF8u
— Rick J. Caruso (@RickCarusoLA) February 12, 2022
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