Billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso has now poured more than $80m of his own fortune into the race to become the next mayor of Los Angeles, according to campaign records.

Caruso’s spending is unprecedented in the race to lead America’s second most populous city, political experts have said, but the luxury mall developer has not yet broken the record of New York City billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who spent $102m to win his third term as mayor in 2009.

Caruso, who was once registered as a Republican, upended the mayoral primary this spring with tough-on-crime rhetoric, pledges to get unhoused people off the streets, and a wave of advertisements funded with more than $40m of his estimated net worth of $5.3bn.

After coming in second to Democratic congresswoman Karen Bass in the nonpartisan primary, Caruso has doubled that investment, crossing the $80m threshold of contributions to his own campaign three weeks before election day, according to campaign records from the city’s ethics commission.

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