Los Angeles mayoral hopeful Rick Caruso may be a political newcomer, but he’s enjoyed considerable support from some of Hollywood’s A-list celebs. Now, Guardians of the Galaxy leading man Chris Pratt has thrown his weight behind the controversial candidate.
Caruso is a Democrat running against U.S. Representative Karen Bass of California, although he was once registered as a Republican. The billionaire developer is a public figure in Los Angeles who edged out other competitors in the cramped June 7 primary.
Pratt announced his endorsement in a post on Instagram Stories.
“I’ve lived in LA for over 20 years. It’s been great to me,” the movie star wrote on Sunday. “In that time I’ve seen what many residents here have seen, the city’s gradual decline into pain and utter disarray. If you live here, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t normally support political candidates. But in this election, there’s too much to lose.”
Pratt added: “If you’re an LA voter, I urge you to vote for @rickcarusola. He’s a builder. He knows how to get s*** done. He’s the guy for our city. Rick Caruso for LA mayor.”
Pratt has largely stayed mum on his past political leanings. Some on social media slammed him in 2020 for allegedly being a supporter of then-President Donald Trump, although a Newsweek fact-check from October of that year had ruled the claim to be “unknown.”
Meanwhile, other legendary celebs are also backing Caruso, including rap icon Snoop Dogg, reality star Kim Kardashian and Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow.
Snoop was emphatic about his preference for L.A. mayor, saying during one news clip earlier this year: “I endorse the real, and that is real.”
Exclusive: @SnoopDogg endorses @RickCarusoLA for L.A. Mayor.— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) May 18, 2022
“I endorse the real and that is real!”
During a Zoom call, Snoop told me he’s impressed Caruso has worked with activists like “Sweet Alice” Harris in Watts for 40 years.
“This is what a mayor has to be about!” pic.twitter.com/4A3TkU3H0K
Paltrow has also sung Caruso’s praises, saying that he is a “man of integrity and great character” who has “the strength to solve some really tough problems.”
Pop star Katy Perry, meanwhile, has recently faced blowback for endorsing Caruso given her support for reproductive rights and the candidate’s past donations to anti-abortion organizations and politicians.
Caruso isn’t the only candidate who’s received help from Tinsel Town’s finest.
Pratt has largely kept his political preferences under wraps, but some of his Marvel co-stars are more outspoken about their own leanings. Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle and Rosario Dawson were all set to support a Wisconsin Democrats fundraiser on Sunday, an event that was titled “The Marvel Cast Unites to Save Democracy.”
Caruso has spared little expense in his political bid. The Guardian reported in October that he’d poured some $80 million of his own fortune into the race. Bass, meanwhile, had raised around $6 million as of September.
As of Wednesday morning, Caruso has a slight lead of 252,476 votes (51.3%) to Bass’ 240,194 (48.8%) with 43% of the votes counted, according to Associated Press estimates. It’s unclear when the final outcome would be known.
Both campaigns have acknowledged that it might be days, or more, before the race is decided. Voters seemed evenly spit between billionaire businessman Caruso, who spent $100 million his campaign, and the longtime public servant Bass, who spent under $10 million.
Bass addressed her supporters shortly after 10 p.m., telling the crowd “we wanted a campaign that looks like Los Angeles. A campaign that reflected the diversity and the brilliance of our city, a vision of our city moving in a new direction.”
She added: “While we await the results, because it’s going to be a long night, and it might take a few days. But when we win, we will win because we’re going to build a new Los Angeles.”