Rick

Los Angeles businessman Rick Caruso, developer of the Grove and Americana at Brand shopping malls, in 2008. (Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times / October 11, 2012)

Billionaire shopping mall developer Rick Caruso is staying out of the Los Angeles mayoral race, he said in a statement released Thursday.

“As a lifelong Angeleno, I have dedicated my career to supporting Los Angeles through world-class developments, creating jobs and economic benefits and in working with civic and community organizations throughout Los Angeles,” Caruso said. “I look forward to continuing to contribute to our city by focusing on endeavors that enrich the lives of the people in this city.”

Caruso’s entrance would have shaken up a field of candidates dominated by three veteran Democratic elected leaders -- City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry -- particularly if he had drawn on his estimated $2-billion personal fortune to finance a campaign.

This is not the first time Caruso has flirted with a run and then decided not to go through with it. He also considered running against Antonio Villaraigosa in 2009 -– and then decided not to.

Here is his full statement.

I will not be candidate for Los Angeles mayor in 2013. I love Los Angeles and believe in this city but it is not the appropriate time for me to step away from Caruso Affiliated. As a lifelong Angeleno, I have dedicated my career to supporting Los Angles through world-class developments, creating jobs and economic benefits and in working with civic and community organizations throughout Los Angeles. I look forward to continuing to contribute to our city by focusing on endeavors that enrich the lives of the people in this city.


-- Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times

Follow Kate on Twitter @katelinthicum