By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino announced Tuesday he will step down as the City Council’s president pro tem as he runs for mayor.

LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino speaks during a press conference at an outdoor vaccine clinic where 500 life-saving COVID-19 vaccines were distributed to port truck drivers in Carson on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Photo by Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images)

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“As is the long-held tradition of giving up council leadership when running for another office, today I will be stepping down from my ceremonial position of Council President Pro Tem and will be supporting my good friend Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson to replace me,” Buscaino said in a statement.

The longtime councilman announced his run for mayor on March 15.

The 46-year-old has represented the council’s 15th District since 2012. It encompasses the southern L.A. area, including San Pedro, Wilmington and Watts. Buscaino is also president pro tempore of the council.

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Prior to joining the city council, he spent 15 years as a police officer in the LAPD. Last July, following the police brutality protests, Buscaino was one of two councilmembers who voted against cutting the LAPD’s budget by $150 million.

Also Tuesday, L.A. City Councilman Kevin de Leon announced he is entering the race.

Mayor Eric Garcetti is termed out from running again in 2022 and is expected to leave office early pending the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of his appointment as ambassador to India.

The primary for the election is scheduled for June 7, 2022. The top two finishers will square off in the election on Nov. 8.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)