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Billionaire Rick Caruso announces run for L.A. mayor

By Calley Hair
Billionaire Rick Caruso announces run for L.A. mayor
Billionaire Rick Caruso, right, declares his candidacy for Los Angeles Mayor on Friday. Photo courtesy of Rick Caruso.

Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso announced his campaign for Los Angeles mayor on Friday.

He filed his candidacy -- long a subject of speculation among local civic leaders -- just hours before the deadline at the city clerk's office, the L.A. Times reported. He posted a statement to Twitter shortly afterward.

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"I did this because I love L.A. As the grandson of immigrants from Boyle Heights, I believe in the L.A. dream," Caruso said.

Caruso appeared to be positioning himself as a political outsider, drawing a contrast between himself and "the politicians."

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"We cannot tolerate the homelessness, crime and corruption that the politicians have created for us," Caruso said. "We can fix L.A. The politicians can't."

He gave a brief press conference downtown that was interrupted by a protester who screamed that Los Angeles' residents "don't want a billionaire mayor."

Rumors of a potential mayoral run from Caruso, 63, picked up steam last month when he officially registered as a Democrat after nearly a decade of declaring no party preference. He was registered as a Republican until 2012.

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Though a longtime participant on local boards and commissions, Caruso has never held elected office. As a developer, he's best known for high-end, outdoor shopping centers including The Grove and Palisades Village.

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His net worth is approximately $4.3 billion, Forbes reports, making him the 261st wealthiest person in the world.

Caruso will appear on the June 7 primary ballot alongside leading candidates Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), City Councilors Kevin de León and Joe Buscaino and City Attorney Mike Feuer.

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