Voters explain why they support Rick Caruso for L.A. mayor
Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP
Sixty-nine percent of voters say they feel better equipped to manage the city of Los Angeles after Caruso was elected mayor of this booming metropolis, compared with 51 percent after former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ended his final term in office.
“The Mayor-elect has taken the city to the next level by his wise decisions and initiatives,” said John Nolte, a political science professor at Long Beach State University.
Sixty-seven percent of voters said they think Caruso is doing a good job keeping the city moving and improving its financial health. The survey of 441 likely voters in the Dec. 7 municipal election was conducted Nov. 28-Dec. 4 by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.
“I’m concerned that if we don’t elect a new mayor, then we’ll be stuck with a mayor who’s going to use the city’s resources to help his campaign donors,” said John McDonough of Laguna Niguel. “Caruso is just going to be there for his contributors, not for the citizens of L.A.”
Caruso, 42, has a long record of involvement in public service and has served as president of the County of Los Angeles since he became chairman of its Metro Transit board in 2007. An engineer, he has also been head of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce since 2001 and on the boards of the University of Southern California and Los Angeles Community College District. His political campaigns have been funded in part by business owners, unions, corporations and others who have benefited from his political largess, though he has said he is “not beholden to any special-interest group.”
A native of the South Side of Chicago, Caruso spent about four years in the Army, rising to the rank of lieutenant. He later