Actor Chris Pratt has seemingly always gone out of his way to avoid political endorsements, but the famously apolitical entertainer shattered that record Sunday.
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Pratt, 43, posted an Instagram story in which he endorsed Rick Caruso (D) for Los Angeles mayor. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star began his text post explaining his attachment to Los Angeles — and concluded by detailing why he’s decided to endorse Caruso, a former Republican.
“I’ve lived in LA for over 20 years,” Pratt wrote. “It’s been great to me. In that time, I’ve seen what many residents here have seen, the city’s gradual decline into pain and utter disarray.”
The actor noted those who live in Los Angeles know exactly what he’s referring to, arguing there’s simply too much at stake not to make an endorsement this election cycle.
“I don’t normally support political candidates,” Pratt added. “But in this election, there’s too much to lose. If you’re an LA voter, I urge you to vote for [Rick Caruso]. He’s a builder. … He’s the guy for our city. Rick Caruso for LA Mayor.”
Caruso, a businessman who has served as president of the Los Angeles Police Commission and commissioner of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, is up against Rep. Karen Bass (D), widely seen as more progressive and politically entrenched.
Pratt’s endorsement comes as Caruso and Bass are locked in a near dead heat, just months after Bass was ahead of Caruso by double digits.
Bass, a longtime Democrat, serves in the U.S. Congress, whereas Caruso was a Republican and independent before announcing his switch to the Democratic Party.
That change came before announcing his mayoral candidacy, leading some to doubt his Democratic chops. Others wonder how his policies would work out and whether his values align with Los Angeles’ more progressive pedigree.
Plus, Caruso, who built luxury malls in South California, has supported candidates like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and former President George W. Bush, also a Republican. And despite supporting candidates who oppose abortion, he has said he supports abortion rights, Politico reported.
The businessman penned a Fox News op-ed recently, explaining his motivation for seeking the mayoral role, proclaiming his love for Los Angeles, where he raised his own family. Beyond that, he shared his take on the city’s dire state of affairs:
Los Angeles is a city where people come to make their dreams come true. But today’s LA is not delivering the opportunities it should for residents. Los Angeles is in a state of emergency with homelessness on the rise and people not feeling safe to take mass transit to work, have their children walk to school or walk around the block. The root cause is that the system in Los Angeles is broken and the interests of Angelenos are being sacrificed by career politicians. What we all heard in the leaked City Hall recordings is not a new phenomenon – it was just a peek behind the political curtain – calling attention to the corruption that is rampant and plagues our city’s elected officials and career politicians.
Homelessness and crime are just two of the critical issues Caruso mentioned in his article — issues gaining traction and putting Democrats in more vulnerable positions in various races across the country.
The Los Angeles race is considered important, as President Joe Biden has endorsed Bass, and Vice President Kamala Harris will campaign with her Monday, according to The Los Angeles Times.
As Politico reported, a Caruso win would mark a “huge upset” in California politics, as Los Angeles, America’s second-largest city, is known for its leftist bonafides.
Whether Pratt’s endorsement sways people is yet to be seen, though the fact he issued it at all is noteworthy, considering his past aversion to public political blessings.
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