Most of Rick Caruso's Celeb Supporters Probably Can't Vote For Him

Because they do not live in L.A.

Los Angeles, CA - March 30: LA's mayoral candidate councilman Rick Caruso at Korean American Federat...
Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
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On Tuesday, June 7, Los Angeles residents will cast primary votes in a nine-candidate mayoral race with two clear frontrunners: progressive former-House Rep. Karen Bass, and billionaire GOP-donor-turned-very-recent Democrat, Rick Caruso. The two will face off in a November runoff if neither takes more than 50 percent of the vote.

As of a June 5 poll, Bass had a minor edge, but not for lack of spending on Caruso’s part. The Dollar Rent-A-Car heir, who leveraged inherited wealth into a luxury real estate empire and a $4.3 billion net worth, has spent almost $30 million of his own money since declaring his candidacy in February. The bulk of his ads, which run everywhere from Dodgers games to YouTube, echo his campaign promise to “clean up L.A.,” a tough-on-crime approach to tackle Los Angeles’s homelessness epidemic by, among other things, increasing police funding and cracking down on encampments. One of his campaign slogans is “FUND THE POLICE.”

The conservative subtext is no accident; Caruso was a registered Republican with a long record of anti-abortion donations until 2011, when he changed his affiliation as “declined to state,” while considering an earlier mayoral run. In the intervening years, he re-registered as a Republican during the 2016 election, then changed to Independent in 2019, where he remained until January — when he registered as a Democrat, coincidentally, just 19 days before he entered the race.

One might think Caruso’s right-wing past and conservative platform would alienate voters in blue Los Angeles. But over the last few weeks, and this past weekend in particular, the billionaire has scored endorsements from a slew of high-profile figures — Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Katy Perry, and Snoop Dogg, among them. The celebrity support is somewhat surprising, given Hollywood’s general reticence on any political issue without broad national support, and because Caruso’s platform stands at odds with some of their stated values (Kardashian, remember, has been lobbying for criminal justice reform). But this is also a local race; even the one-percent care what happens in their backyard. Unfortunately, it seems very few of their backyards lie within the Los Angeles city limits.

Gwyneth Paltrow


Vagina egger Gwyneth Paltrow became one of Caruso’s earliest star supporters, filming a video for his campaign back in March. In the clip, Paltrow sighs: “I think we need to be honest with ourselves that L.A. is experiencing a hard time right now.” That may be the case, but Paltrow’s “serene family sanctuary,” as Architectural Digest put it in February, is in Montecito, a wealthy enclave in Santa Barbara County. Notably, Montecito is also where Paltrow’s store, Sundries, is located. It happens to be in the Rosewood Miramar Beach, a hotel Caruso owns.

Kim Kardashian


Kim, who did not officially endorse a presidential candidate in 2020, weighed in on the Los Angeles mayoral race on May 27. “I don’t typically endorse anyone in politics,” she concedes in the clip, before explaining that she made an exception “when it comes to my hometown.” Kim’s hometown may be important to her, but Los Angeles is not where her literal home is. Her home town in that sense is Hidden Hills, a tiny city and gated community outside Calabasas.

The Kardashian clan have lived there for years. According to The Real Deal, Kim, Kris Jenner, Khloé, and Kylie all own one or more properties there. Just days before her endorsement, Kim paid $6.3 million for another house in the complex; this one abuts the mansion she already owned and formerly shared with Kanye West. West now resides in a mansion across the street.

Kris Jenner


Kim Kardashian probably had to ask her mother’s permission before going public for Rick, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the matriarch herself also whipped out a fresh muumuu for the billionaire owner of America’s ugliest mall, The Grove. She did not make a front-facing phone video for him, but she did provide the following quote:

Jenner may want to see Los Angeles thrive, but not enough to live there. She pays her property taxes in Hidden Hills as well, though now from a different house. According to Architectural Digest, Jenner sold her former Hidden Hills home in 2019, only to buy a different Hidden Hills home the following year. You can see it in the new season, apparently. Mazel.

Katy Perry


Katy Perry, a woman of few words, tweeted the following on June 4:

To Perry’s credit, she clearly does love Los Angeles property; over the past decade, she has bought and sold, or tried to buy and been sued, several parcels within the city. In 2013, she bought two neighboring homes in the Hollywood Hills; in 2017, she scooped up a spot in the Beverly Hills Post Office Area, a region so-called for falling within the 90210 zip code, while remaining in the city of Los Angeles; and for several years, she was involved in a prolonged legal battle with a group of septuagenarian nuns at the order the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, after trying to buy their convent in Los Feliz. But those days are behind her. Perry sold the two Hills homes in 2019, and while she beat the nuns’ case in 2017, the convent deal stalled over a condition in their agreement.

Until recently, Perry actually resided in the city of Los Angeles, in the Beverly Hills-adjacent mansion. But in March, she listed that house for some $20 million. She and her family have moved instead to Montecito. Her husband, Orlando Bloom, has not yet weighed in the race, perhaps because he does not live in Los Angeles.

Elon Musk


Elon Musk took a break from backing out of his widely-publicized Twitter deal to tweet an endorsement for Rick Caruso on June 3. To Elon, Rick Caruso is “awesome.” He does not feel the same way about California, however; just last fall, he called it “the land of overregulation, overlitigation, overtaxation, and scorn.” That’s perhaps why he sold all of his residential property in the state and moved to Texas last year.

Snoop Dogg


The Long Beach legend himself endorsed Rick on a Zoom call in May. According to the Los Angeles Times, Snoop specifically said the following: “You got my support…We’re a part of whatever you’re a part of, as far as bringing love to the community and keeping people there that were a part of the community.” That’s interesting, as Caruso, who has threatened to expel residents by eminent domain during past development projects, built his campaign around clearing out homeless members of communities. In any case, Snoop does not live in Los Angeles. Since 1998, his primary residence has been in Diamond Bar, California — a small city east of Los Angeles proper.

Ted Sarandos


In late May, one of Caruso’s staffers photoshopped this quote from Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos onto a graphic background of Los Angeles.

That’s fitting enough, as Sarandos, unlike most people on this list, does live in Los Angeles. The tech exec and his wife, Motown Records heiress Nicole Avant, have several properties — including one in Montecito — but their homebase is a mansion in Hancock Park. Hard to say how long that will last.

Wolfgang Puck


Wolfgang Puck might have sold out his standards for haute cuisine, but he has apparently not sold his home in Beverly Crest, a neighborhood that is within Los Angeles city limits. That unfortunately does not make up for the fact that he endorsed Rick Caruso in April.

Maria Shriver


Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has not made any public endorsements for the L.A. mayoral race. But his ex-wife and former First Lady Maria Shriver did. Since leaving the Governor’s mansion in 2011, she has lived in Brentwood, where she bought a $12 million mansion. In this April tweet, Shriver, who is also a Kennedy, claims Caruso will build “a thriving, affordable, safe city.” Her son, Patrick Shriver, echoed the sentiment in May. But unlike Shriver, he does not live in L.A.

An earlier version of this post said that Shriver lives in Santa Monica. Her house is in Brentwood.

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