Councilmember Joe Buscaino is dropping out of Los Angeles’ race for mayor and endorsing candidate Rick Caruso.
His departure from the race to succeed Mayor Eric Garcetti leaves billionaire businessman Caruso, councilman Kevin De Leon, LA Congresswoman and former State Assembly speaker Karen Bass and City Attorney Mike Feuer among the remaning frontrunners.
Buscaino’s announcement comes just weeks before voting ends in the California Primary election on June 7. The top two candidates will face off on Nov. 8.
Eligible voters began receiving the ballots this week.
The District 15 representative, a life-long resident of the area, served for 15 years as a LAPD officer before he was elected to the council. He listed the city’s homelessness crisis, safety, transportation, affordable housing and climate action among his top priorities.
“Rick and I agree on the playbook to solve the city’s pressing issues,” Buscaino said. “Today’s decision did not come easy, but the future of Los Angeles is my priority. Together, we will make Los Angeles cleaner and safer for all.”
The Los Angeles Police Protective League endorsed Caruso over Buscaino in February.
“I have tremendous respect for Joe and his deep commitment to the people of Los Angeles,” said Caruso. “I’m honored to have his endorsement and look forward to his counsel on issues like homelessness and criminal justice.”
The primary ballot sent before Thursday’s announcement includes Buscaino, Caruso, Bass, Feuer, de León, activist Gina Viola, real estate agent Mel Wilson, business executive Craig Greiwe, social justice advocate Alex Gruenenfelder Smith, lawyer Andrew Kim, entrepreneur Ramit Varma and business owner John “Jsamuel” Jackson.
NBC4’s Conan Nolan talks with LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino about his vision for Los Angeles, how his district’s solution to the homelessness problem should be followed city-wide, and his plan for police hiring.