The world’s wealthiest man Elon Musk made a rare political endorsement Friday, tweeting his support for fellow billionaire Rick Caruso’s Los Angeles mayoral bid in an apparent contradiction of his vow last month to vote for Republicans.
Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and a prospective Twitter buyer, tweeted the city “is fortunate to have someone like Rick Caruso running for mayor,” explaining the real estate mogul is “awesome.”
Caruso and Musk are two of the wealthiest individuals in the world, according to Forbes‘ Calculations: Caruso’s $4.3 billion fortune largely due to shopping center investments in Southern California makes him the 655th wealthiest person in the world, while Musk’s $220.9 billion fortune far outpaces anyone else’s.
The 63-year-old Caruso, a long-time Republican who recently switched party affiliation to Democrat, is one of three leading candidates in the Los Angeles mayoral race.
A primary election Tuesday will determine the two candidates that appear on the ballot in Los Angeles in November – or could determine the next major outright if a candidate secures more than 50% of votes.
Musk said in a follow-up tweet: “It is rare for me to endorse political candidates. My political leanings are moderate, so neither fully Republican nor Democrat, which I am confident is the case for most Americans. Executive competence is super underrated in politics – we should care about that a lot more!”
Musk, whose SpaceX is headquartered just outside of Los Angeles in Hawthorne, has become increasingly critical of the Democratic Party and liberal politics, accusing Democrats of becoming the “party of division & hate” and promising to vote Republican in a May 18 tweet. Caruso’s campaign has largely focused on crime, homelessness and corruption, and the businessman is further to the right than the other two top candidates, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Ca.) and Los Angeles city councilman Kevin de León. Caruso has held a narrow lead in polling, capturing a leading 24% of votes in a University of California, Berkeley/Los Angeles Times poll released in April and 37% of votes in a poll commissioned by Bass’ campaign last month.
Musk is just the latest big name to back Caruso: Billionaire reality star Kim Kardashian, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and rapper Snoop Dogg all endorsed Caruso in May.
The Mall Mogul and Former Republican Who Could Lead Los Angeles (New York Times)
Elon Musk Tweets He’ll Vote Republican—And Slams Democrats As ‘Party Of Division & Hate’ (Forbes)
Elon Musk Bites The Hand That Fed Him By Bashing California And Democrats (Forbes)
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism