Bass, Caruso focus on how to bridge L.A.’s racial divides in mayoral debate

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Two days after racist comments on a secret audio recording rocked Los Angeles’ political leadership, the two candidates for mayor debated Tuesday night in a sober discussion that largely focused on which of them is best positioned to bridge racial divides and bring the city together.

The matchup between U.S. Rep. Karen Bass and developer Rick Caruso at Brokaw News Center in Universal City came hours after a large crowd packed L.A. City Hall chanting “fuera” — “out” in Spanish — and called for the resignations of top city officials, one of several moves Tuesday that left the future of L.A.’s leadership in doubt.

Bass contended that her experience as a lawmaker in Sacramento and Washington and, before that, as an organizer in South Los Angeles, made her uniquely qualified to form coalitions and bring about much-needed changes on racial strife, policing and homelessness.

Businessman Rick Caruso said he was better positioned to be a change agent, stating that the existing political leadership has failed.

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