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Monday, June 22, 2009

And Then There Were Two: Villaraigosa Opts Out of Gov Race

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 2:05 PM

click to enlarge Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa isn't going anywhere...
  • Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa isn't going anywhere...
In a move that ostensibly benefits erstwhile San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced he will not run for governor.

Vallaraigosa cited his city's utter fiscal mess (you can start shaking your head here, San Franciscans), the fact he was just recently elected to a second term by a landslide (keep shaking) and others were kind enough to point out his popularity has been compromised by a well-publicized affair (utter expletive here). 

It's likely tables in City Hall Room 200 may be scuffed a bit by dancing today -- or would be, if the mayor was in his office -- as the youngish, handsome, L.A. mayor would have likely siphoned young voters away from Newsom in his battle against state Attorney General, former governor, and septuagenarian Jerry Brown. While Brown still leads Newsom handily in polls -- March's field poll gave Brown 25 percent of the vote to Vallaraigosa's 22 percent and Newsom's 16 percent -- the election is a long way off and it could be argued that Brown's superior name recognition is providing the margin here.

On the other hand, well-regarded political consultant Ace Smith had loyalties to both Villaraigosa and Brown, and had supposedly thrown in with the L.A. mayor. If he now joins the A.G.'s camp, it could be a silver lining for Brown.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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