Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Friday he had endorsed U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D.-Los Angeles) in the race to replace outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti next year.
"In the 48 years I have known Karen Bass, she's always been a person of courage and conviction, someone who people like and respect," Villaraigosa, who led L.A. from 2005 to 2013, said. "Karen has always been a coalition builder."
The former mayor is the latest big-name official to throw his weight behind the veteran congresswoman, who announced her campaign for City Hall late last month.
Eight of Bass' colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, incuding Katie Porter of Orange County and Ted Lieu of Los Angeles, have lent their endorsements; along with retired U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-California); L.A. County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Holly Mitchell; and City Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Curren Price, and Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Ridley-Thomas' endorsement was removed from the Bass campaign website following his federal indictment earlier this week on conspiracy and bribery charges.
Bass has consistently led polls with double digits in a field that, as of Friday, included L.A. City Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Kevin de León, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Central City Association President and CEO Jessica Lall, and Echo Park Neighborhood Councilmember Alex Gruenenfelder, among others.
Bass has also won the most endorsements overall of any candidate in the race thus far. She achieved 32 as of Friday, according to the campaign.