City Atty. Mike Feuer bowed out of the Los Angeles mayor’s race on Tuesday and endorsed Rep. Karen Bass.
“The big news today is that although I’m very proud of my campaign, I have done polling and without a major infusion of additional money to stay on the air, I can’t win,” Feuer said in an interview on Tuesday shortly before a planned event with Bass in Encino. “And it’s really important at this moment that we elect Karen. So I’m going to be standing with Karen and saying this is what is best for the city.”
With just three weeks remaining until election day, the field of leading mayoral candidates has rapidly contracted in recent days. City Councilman Joe Buscaino also dropped out last week and endorsed developer Rick Caruso.
Ballots have already been printed and mailed to Angelenos. The top two vote-getters in the June 7 primary will advance to a November runoff unless a single candidate receives more than 50% of the vote and wins outright.
Feuer and Buscaino are well-known figures in local politics, but both struggled to gain a wider foothold with voters — particularly as the race appeared to become a two-person fight between Caruso and Bass.
At the same time, federal investigators are probing the city attorney office’s handling of a lawsuit brought by Department of Water and Power customers, a scandal projected to cost the DWP more than $100 million. Two attorneys associated with Feuer’s office, including a former high-ranking city attorney, have pleaded guilty in the wide-reaching scheme.
In recent weeks, Feuer embraced his long-shot status in the race and launched new television ads that painted him as an underdog. He also increased his attacks on Caruso, contrasting the billionaire developer’s career with his own record of public service and challenging Caruso to release his full tax returns.
A former L.A. City Council member and state legislator, Feuer was the first politician to enter the race more than two years ago.
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He touted his executive and legislative experience on the campaign trail and told voters he’d declare a state of emergency on homelessness and seek a ballot measure to double the size of the Los Angeles City Council.
Feuer also traveled to about 100 neighborhoods in Los Angeles to meet voters.
The Times’ most recent polling, conducted in late March and early April, showed Feuer with the support of 2% of likely voters and Buscaino with 1% support.
That same poll put Caruso and Bass in a dead heat, with the support of 24% and 23% of likely voters, respectively. Councilman Kevin de León trailed as a distant third with the support of 6% of likely voters.