Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he’s turned down a role in President-Elect Joe Biden’s upcoming administration, and that he’ll stay in L.A. as the city continues to grapple with rising COVID-19 rates.
Garcetti said during a Thursday news conference that he delivered the news to Biden early this week, saying that he feels he needs to stay in Los Angeles.
“At this point, when so many lives are on the line, there is nothing more important to me, no task more urgent, than being here as your mayor during the worst emergency that our city has ever faced,” he said.
“As the administration reached out to me about serving,” he continued, “I let them know early this week that my city needs me now, and that I want to be here, and that I need to be here.”
He also revealed that his 9-year-old daughter, Maya, has tested positive for the coronavirus, although both he and his wife have tested negative. He said her symptoms are “mild,” and that she “is doing fine.”
“Our family is incredibly careful and what’s happening in my home this week is playing out across Los Angeles and this country,” he said.
Garcetti did not specify what role was offered to him in the administration. He previously served as campaign co-chair for Biden, and is on his inaugural committee.
The mayor had long been considered a contender to join Biden’s cabinet, but the president-elect has been steadily filling out positions, leaving fewer for Garcetti, who’s also been facing intense criticism. Earlier on Thursday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered that he be deposed in a sexual harassment lawsuit involving his former top aide.
Black Lives Matter activists have also been protesting the possibility of Garcetti joining the administration, due to the heavy police presence he deployed to the demonstrations that took place over the summer.