Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said on CNN that he wouldn’t run for governor so he devote his attention to the city’s financial crisis.
It’s no surprise, but perhaps a relief for many industry donors who faced the prospect of competing loyalties. Villaraigosa also would have entered the race months after Gavin Newsom started raising money, and Jerry Brown collected cash for his reelection committee. The latter can roll those funds into a gubernatorial bid if and when he gets into the race.
Villaraigosa made his announcement on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”
Gavin Newsom’s statement: “As a fellow big-city mayor, over the past four years I have gotten to know and respect Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He is a dedicated public servant who is making a difference for the people of Los Angeles every day.
“His leadership is valuable to the people of California and the nation, regardless of the office he chooses to hold. His life story is an inspiration to millions of Californians and especially to Latinos everywhere.
“I look forward to continuing to work with him, sharing our experiences as mayors, and collaborating on innovative solutions that will take California in a new direction.
“As Mayor Villaraigosa has said so eloquently recently, state government needs to change and I believe we can work together to make that a reality.”
Last week Villaraigosa and Newsom appeared at the West Hollywood pride parade, acting more like chums than rivals. Newsom even got in a joke at the expense of Villaraigosa’s choice to wear a pink shirt to the festivities.