A minor earthquake rattled the L.A. Mayor’s race yesterday. It was probably just a 2.3, centered in San Pedro, and caused no damage. Seismologist Lucy Jones didn’t even bother to comment. But the buzz around the water cooler is loud.
L.A. City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino dropped out of the race yesterday. He is suspending his campaign and throwing his support to billionaire developer Rick Caruso. According to the L.A. Times, Buscaino said that he and Caruso have the same concerns for the city and how to solve them.
The timing is odd considering ballots arrived this past week and some people in LA have already cast a vote in the mayor’s race. Technically, Buscaino is still in the race since his name is still on ballots, and as of today, we have no reports of Buscaino going house to house crossing his name off of ballots.
And, now the fun speculation starts. Buscaino’s city council term is up in December and if he is not elected mayor, he will need a job. Maybe Caruso needs a yacht captain?
Buscaino has been officially campaigning for well over a year, yet his poll numbers never reached over 4% support. Some polls had him at 1%. Will his endorsement of Caruso have an impact? Leading mayoral candidate Karen Bass is probably not concerned that Buscaino’s 1% will now vote for Caruso since they were not going to support her anyway.
We notice a lot of irony in politics. In this situation, we note that Caruso and Buscaino have similar political views, yet it was arguably Caruso who doomed Buscaino’s mayoral dreams. Buscaino originally expected to have support from the conservative side of L.A. politics, including an endorsement and significant independent expenditure funding from the LAPD union which decided to go with Caruso, once he entered the race.