The Los Angeles mayoral race is picking up steam as campaign donation filings show candidates have raised a total of $7.9 million so far in their bid to replace soon-to-be termed-out Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Leading the pack is Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with just under $2 million raised, according to filings through Dec. 31, 2021. Bass declared her candidacy last September.
Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León of District 14—which includes Skid Row, downtown Los Angeles, and Boyle Heights—has raised the second most funds of the candidates at just over $1.2 million—nearly all of that coming in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino of District 14—including San Pedro, Watts, and Wilmington—has raised just $36,000 less than De León but seems to have peaked in fundraising in the spring and early summer of 2021, when fewer candidates had announced.
For the fourth quarter of 2021, Buscaino’s fundraising totals came in last of the major candidates.
Meanwhile, LA City Attorney Mike Feuer has raised about $1 million—nearly all of it in the last three months of 2021, showing momentum in his campaign.
Bass led in the fourth quarter of 2021—October through December—with donations at $1.6 million, followed by De León with $1.2 million and Feuer’s $883,000, and then Buscaino with $176,000.
Entrepreneur Ramit Varma has raised $1.68 million, according to the filings, but $1.5 million of that were donations he made to his own campaign.
The deadline to run in the election is Feb. 12. The next report of campaign donations will be released on April 28, covering contributions from Jan. 1 through April 23.
Billionaire executive Rick Caruso announced a possible run via social media on Jan. 24 and recently registered as a Democrat, despite being registered under a no-party preference for nearly a decade.
The top two contenders in the primary election in June will face off in the general election on Nov. 8, 2022.