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Former L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa Will Probably Run For Governor

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Antonio Villaraigosa pictured speaking. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will probably be running for Governor of California, reports KPCC via the Associated Press. The conclusion rests upon statements coming both from Villaraigosa himself, and a Democratic strategist close to the politician.

“I have a lot of service left in me,” Villaraigosa said to a group of Democrats at the Democratic state convention in February. This is, of course, despite his decision not to run for retiring California Senator Barbra Boxer’s seat this election cycle.

"I fully expect he’s going to run for governor,” said Democratic strategist Roger Salazar, who is reportedly close to Villaraigosa.

Villaraigosa will face some stiff competition, should he choose to enter the gubernatorial race. Current Lieutenant Governor, and former San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom has already declared his candidacy. Per reporting from the San Jose Mercury News, California state Treasurer John Chiang is also considering a run. Throw in a couple of Bay area billionaires, hedgefund manager and environmentalist Tom Steyer, and Steve Westly of eBay, and baby you’ve got yourself a race!

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California’s free-for-all style gubernatorial primary means candidates have to reach out beyond their traditional constituencies. Democrats can vote for Republicans and vice-versa.

It’s important to note that Villaragosa is the only Southern Californian in the mix, and the only Latino. Should he become governor, he would become the first Latino governor in nearly 150 years. Similar can be said of Chiang, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, who could become the state’s first Asian governor.

Villaraigosa’s term as mayor is broadly considered relatively politically successful, though marred by scandal. The former mayor lead a failed attempt to assume executive control of LAUSD, but also managed to push transportation to the forefront of L.A.’s policy discussion, the results of which we see in Metro's new $120 billion plan to fix everything.

Let’s just say we’re really excited for the campaign ads.