Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Developer Rick Caruso out of Los Angeles mayor's race before ever getting in (updated)

Mercer 17967

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Developer Rick Caruso will not run for mayor of Los Angeles in 2013.

Developer Rick Caruso ended the speculation on his political future Thursday by announcing that he will not run for mayor of Los Angeles in the 2013 race. 

In a statement to reporters, Caruso said that this is not the appropriate time to leave his company, Caruso Affiliated, responsible for The Grove and the Americana at Brand retail and entertainment centers.

“As a lifelong Angeleno, I have dedicated my career to supporting Los Angeles through world class developments, creating jobs and economic benefits and in working with civic and community organizations throughout Los Angeles,” Caruso said.

Caruso declined to make any comment beyond his written statement.

The billionaire developer had the opportunity to shake up a race in which the frontrunners all have long lists of City Hall credentials. Caruso’s candidacy would have also shaken up the financial field. The latest campaign finance reports have Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti virtually tied at $2.8 million each. Councilwoman Jan Perry has $1.3 million in her account, while former talk radio host Kevin James has raised $275,000. 

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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. 

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