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Will Anyone Run Against Mayor Villaraigosa?

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By the end of 2008, there will have been three elections, the last one being the Presidential. But after that, things won't be calming down as major city races head into full swing mode. Councilwoman Wendy Greuel will run for City Controller and City Controller Laura Chick will probably run for City Council. But of note is who will run against Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for the biggest job of all? Rumors and talk of who have been floating around and the two bigs ones have already been debunked.

Politician, green bean and the always huggable Bob Hertzberg:

Attorney and former state Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg invited 35 of his closest friends Wednesday to the Palm Restaurant, the steakhouse in downtown Los Angeles. Then he lowered the boom, saying he's not running for anything, this year or next. Only last week, Hertzberg told The Times that he had not ruled out a run for city attorney or even mayor in 2009. But at lunch, he told the assembled group [...] that he will instead continue to work professionally on "green technologies," such as wind turbines and lightweight solar panels. [LA Times]

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Developer of The Grove and The Americana, Rick Caruso:
"I've been approached to run by a number of people. I'm considering it. We need some changes in the city and some strong leadership." If he decides not to run, he says, "I would be happy to support anyone who would move the city forward." [LA Times]

But...

Caruso is clearly flattered by the idea and isn't doing anything to discourage the rumors....But is Caruso really gonna run? Unlikely. In fact, it doesn't look like anybody is going to seriously challenge Antonio in his re-election run -- even with his highly publicized marital problems. Zev Yaroslavsky's been making high-profile anti-density noise aimed at Villaraigosa, but he hasn't made any obvious move toward actually running. [William Fulton via LA Observed]

Photo by Ric Francis/AP