Jun 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Elon Musk endorses Rick Caruso for Los Angeles mayor

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Friday endorsed Rick Caruso, a former Republican turned Democrat, for Los Angeles mayor.

Driving the news: Musk, who called Caruso "awesome," said that it is "rare" for him to make political endorsements.

What he's saying: "Los Angeles is fortunate to have someone like Rick Caruso running for mayor. He's awesome," Musk said in a tweet.

  • "My political leanings are moderate, so neither fully Republican nor Democrat, which I am confident is the case for most Americans," he added.
  • "Executive competence is super underrated in politics — we should care about that a lot more!"

Peter Ragone, a spokesperson for Caruso's campaign, said in a statement to Axios, "[n]o other candidate in the race has the breadth of support that Rick has earned — we have a coalition of labor unions, business leaders, legendary civil rights activists like Sweet Alice and artists like Snoop."

The big picture: While Los Angeles has always remained a top Democratic power center, with crime up and homelessness increasing, voters might be willing to embrace Caruso — a longtime businessman and a former Republican, Axios' Hans Nichols reports.

  • Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who was on President Biden’s shortlist of running mates in 2020, is Caruso's biggest competitor.
  • Her campaign has spent around $1 million in television ads likening Caruso to former President Trump, an approach some strategists say has not been effective.
  • Some observers expect the race to advance to a runoff.

What's next: The election will take place on Nov. 8.

Go deeper: Why L.A. mayor’s race matters

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from Caruso's campaign.

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