News & Election Videos

June 22, 2009

Villaraigosa not running for governor

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that he will not running for governor of California, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer this afternoon.

He said he made up his decision “for a long time” but waited until now to make an official announcement.

“I can’t leave this city in the middle of a crisis. This was an agonizing decision," Villaraigosa said. “I was re-elected by the people of the city, they’ve given me the honor of a second term. I feel compelled to complete the promise I made to them.”

In 2005, Villaraigosa became the first Hispanic mayor of Los Angeles in over a century but the city’s economic struggles dimmed his star power since then. Los Angeles magazine featured him on the cover, with the headline “Failure.”

Villaraigosa said he will not be endorsing any of the other Democratic candidates in the gubernatorial field, which includes San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom and state Attorney General Jerry Brown.