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L.A. billionaire Rick Caruso says he won't run for mayor

October 11, 2012 |  6:27 pm

Los Angeles businessman Rick Caruso, developer of the Grove and Americana at Brand shopping malls, seen here in 2008. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times

Billionaire shopping mall developer Rick Caruso is staying out of the Los Angeles mayoral race, he said in a statement released Thursday.

“As a lifelong Angeleno, I have dedicated my career to supporting Los Angeles through world-class developments, creating jobs and economic benefits and in working with civic and community organizations throughout Los Angeles,” Caruso said. “I look forward to continuing to contribute to our city by focusing on endeavors that enrich the lives of the people in this city.”

A former city commissioner and the developer behind the Grove and the Americana at Brand shopping centers, Caruso had been flirting with a mayoral run for months, even hiring a team of political consultants to help him decide. Interest in his intentions intensified after another potential front-runner, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, announced this summer that he was staying out of the race.

Caruso’s entrance would have shaken up a field of candidates dominated by three veteran Democratic elected leaders -- City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry -- particularly if he had drawn on his estimated $2-billion personal fortune to finance a campaign.

This is not the first time Caruso has flirted with a run and then decided not to go through with it. He also considered running against Antonio Villaraigosa in 2009 -– and then decided not to.

Here is his full statement.

I will not be candidate for Los Angeles mayor in 2013. I love Los Angeles and believe in this city but it is not the appropriate time for me to step away from Caruso Affiliated. As a lifelong Angeleno, I have dedicated my career to supporting Los Angles through world-class developments, creating jobs and economic benefits and in working with civic and community organizations throughout Los Angeles. I look forward to continuing to contribute to our city by focusing on endeavors that enrich the lives of the people in this city.

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-- Kate Linthicum at Los Angeles City Hall

twitter.com/katelinthicum

Photo: Los Angeles businessman Rick Caruso, developer of the Grove and Americana at Brand shopping malls, in 2008. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times

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