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LOS ANGELES – Americans in the City of Angels weighed in Tuesday on the mayoral primary underway.
“I think the current situation with the crime and the homeless situation is a big factor,” Nana, of Marina del Rey, told Fox News. “We have to take into consideration what’s going on with our local situation.”
Trula, from Venice, said “the homeless issue” influenced her vote the most.
“We’re in Venice, and it’s everywhere,” she added. “It’s worse than it used to be.”
A voting center in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. (Matt Leach/Fox Digital)
Crime and homelessness have taken center stage in the primary race, pitting Rep. Karen Bass and billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso against each other as top contenders for mayor.
Caruso, a former Republican, proposed adding 1,500 police officers to the force, while Bass has favored community-based crime prevention programs.
“It was kind of a toss up,” John, from Venice, told Fox News. “I thought that Karen Bass had more governmental experience, and that’s what it’s going to take just running a bureaucracy.”
Rep. Karen Bass, a candidate for Los Angeles mayor, gathers with various prominent supporters in Los Angeles, CA. ((Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images))
Caruso has also promised to quickly clear homeless encampments that have become prevalent across Los Angeles and to add 30,000 housing units. Bass also aims to end the encampments, though through less aggressive means, add 15,000 beds and rely on job training and mental health and addiction services.
“We have one of the great cities in the country, and we’ve let it run afoul,” Gary, who voted for Bass, said. “Look around, homeless people everywhere.”
“We have extremely high taxes,” he told Fox News. “We need to take action, and we have the people, we have the mindset, and we actually have the capital to make it work.”
Rick Caruso, mayoral candidate for Los Angeles, speaks during an interview in Los Angeles, California. (Photographer: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The race has seen several celebrity endorsements. Gweneth Paltrow, Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian have thrown support behind Caruso. Meanwhile, actor Ken Jeong has endorsed Bass.
But voters in Los Angeles told Fox News the Hollywood treatment had little influence on who they’d support.
“I didn’t look at any one of them because I don’t have cable TV,” one Los Angeles voter said.
Gary told Fox News: “My wife says I don’t even know what a celebrity is. I didn’t even realize they were endorsing anyone.”
Isabelle McDonnell contributed to this report.
Matt Leach is a Fox Digital Originals reporter based in Tampa, FL.