Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassDemocratic retirements could make a tough midterm year even worse First senator formally endorses Bass in LA mayoral bid Bass receives endorsement from EMILY's List MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said she is “seriously considering” running for Los Angeles mayor.
“I have been overwhelmed and humbled by people pushing for me to do this, and I will say that I am seriously considering it,” Bass told KPCC/LAist during an interview.
Bass’s comments are the latest in a swirl of speculation regarding the five-term California lawmaker's next career move.
Bass’s office shut down talk of a potential mayoral run last month, when her spokesperson put out a statement saying the lawmaker was planning to run for reelection to her House seat when her term ends in 2022.
“People are urging her to do it. She is not considering it at this time. Her plan right now is to run for re-election to her House seat in 2022,” Bass’s spokesperson told The Hill in early August.
Now, however, the congresswoman said she is switching gears and considering a bid for Los Angeles mayor.
“[Running for mayor] was not something I had thought about before — I was planning to run for reelection. I am evaluating the situation now,” Bass told KPCC/LAist.
The change of heart comes amid an online campaign aimed at persuading Bass to throw her hat into the ring for the position.
No time better than now. A leader rooted in community. A city in need of deep change, restoration and imagination. Let’s do this!#DraftBass #PeoplesDraft #KarenBass #LAMayor— Alberto Retana (@aretana) August 22, 2021
Karen Bass for Mayor! pic.twitter.com/yo8Y4cMS0v
The congresswoman said she has been “humbled” and “honored” by the individuals online pushing her to run.
“It was not something I had thought about before,” Bass said. “But I have been really humbled and really honored by people calling on me to take this seriously.”
Bass said she believes Los Angeles is “at a crossroads,” contending that the city is “facing a humanitarian crisis.”
“I am really worried that our city could be torn apart, that people could be turned against each other,” she added.
She also brought attention to the issue of COVID-19 in the city and the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on specific communities.
“And so I am humbled and very honored that people would think that I could do this job,” she added.
Should Bass choose to run for mayor, she would join San Pedro-area City Councilman Joe Buscaino and City Attorney Mike Feuer in the race. Both Buscaino and Feuer announced their candidacies for mayor earlier this year, according to LAist.
City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilman Kevin de León, real estate developer Rich Caruso and former Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner are also reportedly considering bids.
News from Bass comes after President BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE in July nominated L.A. Mayor Eric GarcettiEric GarcettiPoll: 74 percent say COVID-19 restrictions effectively slow the virus Bass receives endorsement from EMILY's List Bass gets mayoral endorsement from former California senator MORE (D) to serve as his ambassador to India. His appointment has not yet been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Bass made headlines last year when she was reportedly on the shortlist to join then-candidate Biden on the Democratic ticket as vice president. Biden, however, ultimately went with then-Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisAre supply chain disruptions the beginning of the end of globalization? Harris to campaign with McAuliffe in Virginia Harris to highlight drought, climate change in Nevada trip MORE (D-Calif.).
Bass has been a key player in congressional negotiations for police reform, which have since stalled because of firm sticking points between Democrats and Republicans.