CCA’s Lall exits race LA’s mayoral race

Gives no reason for departure as potential for Caruso candidacy looms

Jessica Lall (JessicaLallforMayor, iStock)
Jessica Lall (JessicaLallforMayor, iStock)

Jessica Lall, who represents numerous commercial real estate interests as head of the Central City Association, has dropped out of the race for L.A. mayor.

Lall, president and chief executive of the Downtown Los Angeles-based business advocacy group, ended her bid on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported. The nascent campaign had cited the city’s homelessness crisis as a key reason behind the run.

“This was a difficult decision, but I’m proud of the campaign we ran,” Lall said in a tweet. “We put forward real plans to solve hard problems. While this campaign ends today, the journey does not. I will remain committed to ensuring LA soars to new heights.”

Lall did not explain her decision to exit the mayor’s race.

She said she believed the mark of a good leader was being brave enough to step in, but also “wise enough to know when to step back.”

In a statement, Lall said her campaign was “intended to inspire women, mothers, South Asians and young people” to recognize their power and participate in the political process. She urged her supporters “not to feel defeated or demoralized.”

A 3-minute You Tube announcement followed similar lines. Dressed in a white sport coat and blue top, Lall touched on “a crisis in leadership: When corruption and dysfunction are the norm, it is clear that the status quo has failed.”

Her candidacy, announced four months ago, included a proposal to create a new city agency to coordinate the response to the homelessness crisis.

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It was a long-shot bid for the city’s top job, as Lall lacked the name recognition and stature that often accompanies candidates for elected office.

Lall’s candidacy appeared to gather steam when she reported raising $404,134 in the most recent disclosure.

But that sum, while more than any other outsider candidate, was well below the nearly $2 million raised by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), and the funds raised by three other leading candidates, City Atty. Mike Feuer and councilmen Kevin de León and Joe Buscaino.

Political strategist Bill Carrick, who advised the Lall campaign, said she’s not decided whether to endorse another candidate.

The deadline to file as a mayoral candidate is Saturday. Many believe billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso is gearing up to run, which could dramatically reshape the political landscape.

Jessica Duboff, a deputy campaign manager, said Lall had not had any recent conversations with Caruso. While Councilman Mike Bonin dropped out of his 2022 council race, she said Lall has no intention of running for his Westside district seat.

[LAT] – Dana Bartholomew

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