Caruso talking up the mayor thing

rickcarusocrop.jpgThis was the week that Rick Caruso got the next mayoral race pretty much underway. First was a flurry of targeted media disclosures that the Republican developer of The Grove and other big properties was crossing party lines to back Jerry Brown for governor. Now, in interviews with Patt Morrison at the L.A. Times and Tina Daunt at the Huffington Post, Caruso makes it clear that running for mayor is something he's actively thinking about. "Absolutely it is," Caruso tells Morrison in a piece that also covers The Grove and other topics.

"I would want to be mayor more than governor because I think you can have more impact on people's daily lives. And I want to come home at night, be with my wife and kids. If there was somebody out there I thought was really good, I would gladly step aside. But I do like the idea and the challenge of doing it. Time will tell."

"I know if I'm going to run, I'll need to make a decision this year," Caruso told Daunt, who analyzes that Caruso would have to make like former mayor Richard Riordan and craft an image that would let him be seen as a pro-choice, pro-marriage equality Republican. Antonio Villaraigosa can't run again in 2013, and is always a threat to seek another post before then. Caruso looks to be publicly positioning himself for the next race out ahead of the legions who will entertain running. Not to be overlooked as a factor, by the way, is that former Jim Hahn deputy mayor Matt Middlebrook is a top Caruso executive.

Add Caruso: In October he submitted an LA Observed Visiting Bloggers post arguing against a freeze on LAPD hiring.

Add Daunt: The former L.A. Times "Cause Celebre" columnist and City Hall reporter is now a contributing editor at the Huffington Post's Los Angeles page as well as a style blogger. She also has a piece up at HuffPo about the creator of Kubrick, the default design theme on the Wordpress blog platform.

Add politics: LA Observed columnst Bill Boyarsky writes that fighting the digital billboard lobby will be a big test for new Councilman Paul Koretz.

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