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Ridley-Thomas Decides Against Mayoral Run, Believes Congresswoman Karen Bass Would Make a Formidable Candidate

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In what was a surprising move, City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas announced that he would not be entering L.A.’s 2022 mayoral race.

“After much careful consideration,” said Ridley-Thomas, “I have decided not to run for the office of Mayor of Los Angeles. 

“Frankly, it’s a distraction from what I’m currently doing in terms of focusing on this homeless crisis. Right now strikes me as a critical moment in time and I need to stay on this. I just don’t see how I can forego 14 months of intense work at a critical moment. 

“Specifically, I will continue my work to establish a right to housing in Los Angeles and the State of California. That’s the campaign that interests me. If we don’t address this issue, I can assure you that it will get worse.  It is the defining issue of our time and is disproportionate in its impact on black people.”

For supporters like Kerman Maddox, the decision was hard to accept.

“Ridley-Thomas has been a fierce advocate for the Black Community in Southern California and could be recognized one day as the most effective local elected official we’ve had in many years,” said Maddox, a leading public policy consultant.

“Could Mark Ridley Thomas have won the Mayoral election? I don’t know,” Maddox continued, “but after reviewing all the polls and doing a thorough analysis of all the declared and rumored candidates, it was clear he had a real path to get into a run-off election and once you’re in the run-off anything is possible.”  

In fact, the 66-year-old veteran legislator and former County Supervisor fared well in the polls.

“In poll after poll, I’ve done fine, better than the last major race I was in for Supervisor,” Ridley-Thomas asserts. “I came into that race ten points behind and won ultimately 61 to 39 against Parks. I’m nowhere near that much behind in current polling. As a matter of fact, I’m very competitive with those in the race, so that is not my reason for choosing to do otherwise. It’s a matter of a different set of priorities.”

Ridley-Thomas—who celebrates 30 years in elected office this summer— issued a heartfelt thanks to those who urged him to run and was quick to add that he was “not done.”

Said Ridley-Thomas, “I still have three and a half years in office, so don’t write any eulogies yet!”

In the meantime, the L.A. native is among the many urging Congresswoman Karen Bass to run.

“I take the position that if Karen Bass were to launch a campaign, she would be formidable, because of her experience at the federal level; because of her experience at the state level; because of her experience as a health care professional [former nurse]; and because of gender. Those factors are really going to be important.

“She has not yet made that determination, but she would be a force with which to reckon and the current field knows and appreciates that very point.”

 


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