Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino has dropped out of the race for mayor on Thursday and will endorse candidate Rick Caruso.
Buscaino, who represents the 15th district of L.A., said he supported Caruso for mayor as they ran on similar platforms.
“Rick and I agree on the playbook to solve the city’s pressing issues,” Buscaino said in a statement. “Today’s decision did not come easy, but the future of Los Angeles is my priority. Together, we will make Los Angeles cleaner and safer for all.”
Despite being an LAPD officer for 15 years and a current reserve officer, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), which represents about 9,500 LAPD officers, endorsed Caruso in the race for mayor.
Caruso himself is a former president of the LAPPL and the union pointed to his stance on public safety for their endorsement.
“We believe that the people of Los Angeles and the members of the LAPD agree: Our approach to public safety needs to change,” LAPPL president Lt. Craig Lally said in a February statement. “Rick is not a typical politician, and we believe that he can fix L.A.”
In response to Buscaino’s endorsement, Caruso said he had a “tremendous respect” for the councilman and looked forward to working with him and the council if elected.
Polling as high as 4% in February, Buscaino’s support dropped to 1% in the latest numbers presented by UC Berkeley and the L.A. Times on April 11.
In those polls, Caruso led the way with 24% support, followed by Rep. Karen Bass with 23% and 40% of voters still undecided.
Buscaino is still on the primary ballot that has already been sent out to voters, along with Caruso, Bass, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Councilman Kevin de León, activist Gina Viola, real estate agent Mel Wilson, businessman Craig Greiwe, social justice advocate Alex Gruenenfelder Smith, lawyer Andrew Kim, entrepreneur Ramit Varma and business owner John “Jsamuel” Jackson.