L.A. Mayor Karen Bass launches her reelection bid, saying, 'We cannot afford to stop our momentum'

Los Angeles Mayor Elect U.S. Rep. Karen Bass with supporters at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles on Nov. 17
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass addresses a crowd of supporters in 2022. On Monday, she announced that she is launching her reelection campaign. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass kicked off her reelection bid on Monday, saying she is seeking a second four-year term while continuing to "deliver the change that Angelenos deserve."

In a fundraising email to supporters, Bass said her administration, which is less than 19 months old, has made major strides on homelessness, public safety, the delivery of city services and other issues.

"I am running for a second term because we cannot afford to stop our momentum," said Bass, who took office in December 2022.

Bass filed paperwork on Monday to form a fundraising committee for the June 2026 mayoral election. If she fails to obtain 50% of the vote in the primary, she would face an opponent in a runoff that November.

The mayor's pitch for donations went out three days after officials reported that the number of "unsheltered" homeless — those living in tents, vehicles and makeshift structures — went down by 10.4% citywide compared with the prior year. Many were moved into hotels, motels and other forms of interim housing as part of the mayor's Inside Safe initiative.

"Together with locked arms, we brought down street homelessness for the first time in years — bringing thousands more people inside last year than the year before," she said in her email.

Homelessness overall went down 2.2% — within the margin of error for this year's homelessness count, which was conducted in January.

In her email, Bass also touted her work on Executive Directive 1, which is fast-tracking the approval of affordable housing, as well as a reduction in homicides and her efforts to work collaboratively with city, state and federal agencies.

The fundraising period for the 2026 primary election began on June 2 for citywide offices — mayor, city attorney and city controller. Candidates for City Council in the 2026 election cannot begin raising money for their campaigns until December.

In the last election, Bass was massively outspent by her opponent, billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso, who put in more than $108 million — most of it his own money. That was over 10 times the amount spent by the Bass campaign, according to figures posted by the city's Ethics Commission.

A Caruso representative had no comment when contacted by The Times about the 2026 election. Last fall, Caruso told Politico he had not ruled out another run for public office.

Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.