Downtown business leader Jessica Lall ended her brief mayoral campaign on Tuesday, saying 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.”
Lall, president and chief executive of the downtown business group Central City Assn., entered the race in late September. Much of her campaign focused on addressing homelessness, including a proposal to create a new city agency to coordinate the response to the crisis.
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.”
Lall’s long-shot candidacy appeared to gather some steam in recent months, and she reported raising $404,134 in the most recent disclosure. That sum, while well below the nearly $2 million raised by the apparent front-runner, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), and the totals of the three other leading candidates, City Atty. Mike Feuer and councilmen Kevin de León and Joe Buscaino, it was more than any other outsider candidate.
Bill Carrick, the political strategist advising the Lall campaign, said she has not yet decided whether to endorse another candidate.
With the mayoral candidate filing deadline on Saturday, it is widely believed that billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso will enter the race — a move that would drastically reshape the landscape of the race. Jessica Duboff, her deputy campaign manager, said Lall had not had any recent conversations with Caruso.
Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the Westside district where Lall lives, recently dropped out of his 2022 council race. Lall has no intention of running for Bonin’s seat, Duboff said.