Rep. Karen Bass (D-California) and real estate developer Rick Caruso (D) will vie for term-limited Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti‘s (D) seat in a runoff in November.

Caruso garnered 41% of the vote and Bass brought in 38% when the primary was called on Tuesday night. Kevin de León came in at a distant third with seven percent. Candidates needed 50% to avoid a runoff.

The real estate developer, a Republican turned Democrat, joined the race late to challenge Bass who was considered a heavy favorite to succeed Garcetti. His campaign was centered around being tough on crime, which has become increasingly important to L.A. voters as homeless encampments and gun violence have been on the increase across the city. Caruso also pledged to find shelter for 30,000 people during his first year in office and locate money in the city budget to hire more police officers.

“This is a great night because so many people have gone to the voting booth and they sent a message: We are not helpless in the face of our problems,” Caruso said after the votes were counted. “We will no longer accept excuses.”


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The wealthy real estate developer personally spent over $37.5 million on his campaign and relied heavily on media advertising.

Bass’ campaign was built upon her experience as a U.S. representative. She also promised to shelter 15,000 people during her first year and bolster the Los Angeles Police Department. She thanked her supporters and expressed optimism heading into a runoff in five months.

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