DailyNews: It’s official. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he’s joining the race for California’s highest office in 2018 after months of speculation.
Villaraigosa, 63, who has taken a break from politics since leaving City Hall three years ago, said he’s running for governor largely to rebuild the state’s shrinking middle class.
The former Democratic Assembly speaker announced his decision and launched campaign website antonioforcalifornia.com two days after Republican real estate mogul Donald J. Trump clinched the presidency in a stunning electoral upset over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“I think that the way to restore the luster of the California dream is to give voice to more Californians, to focus on parts of the state that frankly have been left behind, that haven’t had a voice,” Villaraigosa said in a telephone interview. “I think it’s been clear who has been left behind. We saw that in this campaign. I think we heard from working people and people in the middle class who feel like the economy is not working for them.”
Several other high-profile Democratic candidates have announced their intention to run for the post, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, state Treasurer John Chiang of Torrance, and Delaine Eastin, former state schools’ chief. Billionaire investor and environmental activist Tom Steyer has said he’s considering a run but told KQED Radio’s “The California Report” this week that he may focus on his activism to fight Trump instead. MORE