$4 Million Out: Indian American entrepreneur Ramit Varma drops out of Los Angeles mayoral race; Support Rick Caruso

Entrepreneur Ramit Varma dropped out of the Los Angeles mayoral race earlier this week and endorsed leading candidate Rick Caruso. In a letter posted on his website, Varma wrote that although he and Caruso “have very different backgrounds and experiences”, he found that the two were “united by a common goal” – the desire to want Los Angeles is “a city that is safe, affordable and clean. A city that our children and the decades to come can be proud of. Varma ran as an independent and was not tied to any political party or special interest.

The Los Angeles Times described Varma as “a little-known candidate who poured $4 million of his own money into the mayoral race.” The American Indian, who promised to be “a new kind of mayor”, had “a handful of campaign billboards pasted around town”. added the LA Times.

Varma moved to Los Angeles to study for his MBA at UCLA in 2000. “I fell in love with LA almost immediately,” he told Ventura Blvd. He then co-founded Revolution Prep, an online tutoring platform dedicated to making tutoring more effective and higher education more accessible for America’s youth. He built a business from the ground up, focused on giving children and young adults more opportunities to succeed in life. Based in Santa Monica since its beginnings in 2002, Revolution Prep was at one time named the fastest growing education company in Los Angeles and is known for its wide range of test prep courses, particularly for the SAT, ACT and PSAT tests.

He told Venture Blvd that he had his first experience with city government when he was married. Instead of the usual horse, Varma wanted to ride an elephant in her wedding procession. So he rode an elephant down Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica to his wedding ceremony. “I had to get about 30 people to sign on for the event,” he recalls. Police feared the elephant might panic. Firefighters had to make sure we didn’t block any roads, and sanitation had to make sure the elephant had a poo bag. It was one of my first experiences with municipal government.

Varma had his first experience with the city government when he was married. He wanted to ride an elephant in his wedding procession. “I had to get about 30 people to sign on for the event.”

He and his wife Delphine have three children.

Varma’s decision comes just under two weeks after council member Joe Buscaino dropped out of the race and endorsed Caruso, after which Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer ended his campaign last week and endorsed Rep. Karen Bass last week, the LA Times reported.

Earlier in February, Native American entrepreneur Jessica Lall dropped out of the Los Angeles mayoral race. She ended her brief campaign on February 8, saying she believed “the mark of a good leader is to be brave enough to step in, but also ‘wise enough to know when to step back’.” is in the race because the city “is in crisis – from rising homelessness and crime to shrinking affordability and opportunity.

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Currently, Bass and Caruso are the clear favorites in the race to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti, the LA Times noted. Other candidates still in the running include board member Kevin de León, activist Gina Viola, former Metro board member Mel Wilson and former public relations officer Craig Greiwe.

Current mayor Eric Garcetti was re-elected in March 2017 for a five-and-a-half-year term. His term is limited and the election of his successor is scheduled for fall 2022. Last July, President Biden appointed Garcetti as Ambassador to India. However, its confirmation seems increasingly dubious.

On January 12, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Garcetti’s nomination and now awaits confirmation by a full Senate. But the president’s choice is meeting resistance not only from the GOP, but also from a few Democrats “due to his alleged lack of knowledge about the sexual assault and harassment allegations against a top adviser,” as reported. Politico. And without total party unity, the mayor of Los Angeles may not become the envoy of the world’s greatest democracy.