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latest news Ramit Varma quits LA mayoral race, endorses Rick Caruso

The rapidly shrinking list of candidates for mayor of Los Angeles was shortened by one name on Monday, as longtime candidate Ramit Varma dropped out and endorsed real estate developer Rick Caruso.

Varma entered the race with a bang last fall, praising Banc of California Stadium for a 400-person kickoff event where he promised to end homelessness and reduce government waste. But despite billboards plastered with his face and the slogan “A New Kind of Mayor,” the tech entrepreneur’s largely self-funded campaign struggled to gain traction with voters in the months that followed.

Polls taken in late March and early April showed he had the support of 1% of likely voters.

“Although Rick and I have very different backgrounds and experiences, I found we were united by a common goal,” Varma said in a statement Monday. “We both want Los Angeles to be a safe, affordable and clean city. A city of which our children and the decades to come can be proud.

Varma’s departure follows the departure of two well-known local politicians: City Atty. Mike Feuer ended his campaign and endorsed Rep. Karen Bass last week, just days after council member Joe Buscaino quit and endorsed Caruso.

Bass and Caruso are the clear favorites in the race to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti, although other candidates still in the race include council member Kevin de León, who released two new television and digital ads last week, and the activist Gina Viola, who commissioned a small but dedicated following Bass’ left-handed race.

The ballots have already been printed and mailed, which means voters can technically still select Varma, Feuer or Buscaino as their choice. These votes will still be counted.

Angelenos have until June 7 to mark and return their ballots. The first two voters in the June elections will advance to the November runoff unless a single candidate receives more than 50% of the vote and wins outright.

Varma, an Encino resident and co-founder of online tutoring company Revolution Prep, had invested $4 million of his own money in his campaign since entering the race last October. Continuing to introduce a data-driven approach to City Hall, Varma told The Times last month that he plans to invest in billboards, digital advertising and radio spots.

“I want people to know that there is a third option – a businessman who is not a disconnected billionaire, a person of color who is not a police defunding progressive,” he said. -he declares. at the time.

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