Karen Bass becomes first woman elected mayor of Los Angeles

“These are general statements, okay? But women are more collaborative. Women are less transactional. And I think women focus on different issues,” she said. “I think women tend to lead differently.”

Bass was the frontrunner for much of the mayoral race, and polls show her by far the best-known candidate in a crowded primary. But with the late arrival of Mr., the situation has changed. Caruso, 63, is a deep-pocketed Brentwood businessman who has developed some of Southern California’s best-known shopping destinations and serves on the powerful board that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department and the University of Southern California.

The race is the first mayoral race since the city decided to hold local elections at the same time as the statewide election, and the first to follow a state law that provides mail-in ballots for every registered active voter. These two changes greatly expanded interest in municipal elections, and Mr. Caruso’s spending has set records for the city, not just for campaign ads but for phone banks, precinct walkers and other voter turnout efforts.

In the last few weeks, opinion polls have shown a sharp narrowing of the official nonpartisan race. Mrs. Bass, however, has the political support of numerous high-profile Democrats, including former President Barack Obama. She also criticized Mr. Caruso said the positions he’s asserting have nothing to do with the city’s mayor’s limited powers — his belated pivot to the Democratic Party, for example, and his past contributions to conservative candidates who oppose abortion.

In a statement Wednesday, Mr. Caruso wants Ms. Bass on “Godspeed” and congratulations. “There will be more to come from the movement we’ve started, but for now, as a city, we need to rally around elected Mayor Bath and give her the support she needs to solve the many problems we face,” he said.

Mrs. Bass has said she will seek to mend relations when she takes office in December. The city council has been reeling from a series of scandals, including the leak of an audio recording in which a group of Latino members were found to have made demeaning and racist remarks, some aimed at African-Americans.

Also looming are preparations for Los Angeles to host the 2028 Olympics and the prospect of a painful recession in a city with limited options for raising revenue.

In her new role, she will have a powerful and overbearing pulpit, but also with significant limitations; the Los Angeles government is designed to resist the concentration of power. For example, county officials oversee many of the social service programs necessary to address homelessness, and any regional initiative would require broader support from dozens of surrounding cities and other levels of government.

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