Politics, government and public life for Southern California

With Zev out, what happens to Caruso, Greuel and Garcetti?

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky

Andres Aguila/KPCC

For two of the leading candidates in the race to be mayor of Los Angeles, Zev Yaroslavsky's decision not to run is seen as a win. Developer Rick Caruso, meanwhile, is still considering a run, though Yaroslavsky's decision isn't a factor, according to a source.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's decision not to run for mayor may have been a win for two of the leading candidates, but for a billionaire sitting on the sidelines, the news seemed to have little effect.

Developer Rick Caruso is still "strongly considering" a run to succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, according to a source close to Caruso. However, Yaroslavsky’s news, "really has no bearing."

"It's never been about that. It's been about whether he thinks it's the right thing to do."

The source told KPCC an increased number of folks have contacted Caruso since last Thursday's news, encouraging him to jump into the race. Austin Beutner had been the business community's favored candidate, but he left the race in May.

Yaroslavsky's early morning announcement was a starter pistol for Controller Wendy Greuel, who assembled a list of the supervisor's supporters almost immediately. Though some had already given money to Greuel, the controller said she now has public declarations of support. 

"You always think about, are some of those my voters?" Greuel told KPCC. "You're always in a position thinking, that’s great. I can go after those voters."

Some of the voters, according to the Greuel campaign, now include Yaroslavsky supporters like Carrol Biondi, Leslie Gilbert Lurie and Mark Nathanson.

"We've got great momentum," she said.

Over at Garcetti HQ, consultant Bill Carrick said that a Sept. 20 fundraiser hosted by former Disney chief Michael Eisner and his family is a "clear demonstration of momentum."

Also signed onto that fundraiser, which was in the works well before Yaroslavsky made his decision, are: Barry Diller, James Perse, Alex von Furstenberg, Tim Olyphant and Tom Unterman.

"We're methodically trying to recruit people who can not only contribute but also raise (money) and we're working it hard," Carrick said. 

As for what Yaroslavsky's news means for Garcetti, Carrick said: "more undecided voters and more donors and more fundraisers all up for grabs."

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