The pool of candidates in the race to become LA's next mayor is getting more crowded

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- There's already a crowded field of candidates running for mayor of Los Angeles, and there could be one more - real estate developer Rick Caruso.

Los Angeles Magazine reports Caruso hired a political consulting firm that in the past has worked with Hillary Clinton, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Vice President Kamala Harris as clients.

"He's definitely going to approach things with a different attitude and a different political bent than most of the main stream candidates in the race right now," said former assemblyman and political analyst Mike Gatto.

Mayor Eric Garcetti is termed out and waiting on his pending nomination as U.S. ambassador to India, a process that could take months.

As the list of candidates grows, Gatto feels the main issue is homelessness.

"Whoever runs for mayor has got to have a plan it's got to be credible, it's got to be one that the people can get behind and support," he added.

L.A. City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, also in the race, wants more housing and stricter anti-camping laws.

Fellow Councilmember Kevin de Leon and L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer are also in the race. Former LA Unified School Superintendent Austin Beutner's name has also been tossed around as another candidate for mayor, though he hasn't officially announced his candidacy.

Last month, U.S. Representative Karen Bass tossed her name into the race and said solving the issue of homelessness would be her priority if elected.

"I can't think of anything that's more urgent than that and it will be the number one issue that I focus on," she said.

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it's official: Congresswoman Karen Bass is running for L.A. mayor. The soon-to-be 68-year-old former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus will give up her 10 years of seniority in Washington.

Businessman Ramit Varma announced yesterday he's in the race. Varma rented out Banc of California Stadium Thursday to announce his candidacy. He's pledged to put at least $1 million of his own money toward his campaign.

Wealthy candidates can bring a lot of money to these races but usually don't do well.

"California has a habit of rejecting millionaire candidates, typically people hear about their lifestyle, they hear about what they spend their money on and they want nothing to do with them," Gatto said.

The election is still a year away but if Garcetti is confirmed by the Senate he would leave early. That could mean an interim mayor and a whole new wrinkle in this race.

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