Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 7:22 a.m.
Antonio Villaraigosa and Eric Garcetti at Barbara Boxer’s victory party, in 2010
Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, now running to be the next governor of California, said the saddest thing ever at a reception in July (the quote appeared in a recent L.A. Times profile):
“Maybe I’m yesterday’s news. Maybe I’m just a guy who was starting out 20-some-odd years ago, broke glass ceilings — but maybe my time is over.”
It’s incredible to think that Villaraigosa, once all youthful zest (“Your energy is flowing through me!”) and boundless energy, is now 64 and taking on the persona of aging gunfighter out for one last score.
And to be fair, Villaraigosa remains the second or third favorite candidate for governor, behind Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. A recent poll, however, put Villaraigosa 16 points behind Newsom and just about even with Republican candidate John Cox. And his fundraising has lagged behind that of Newsom and his other big Democratic rival, State Treasurer John Chiang.
With the Villaraigosa candidacy apparently flagging, it’s worth asking the question: Why do L.A. mayors always fail at their runs for higher office?
Compare our mayors to that of other California cities: Former San Francisco Mayor Diane Feinstein went on to the U.S. Senate, where she’s remained for 25 years and counting; former San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson went on to governor (and a very bad presidential run); Newsom was mayor of San Francisco before getting elected as lieutenant governor. Even Jerry Brown was once mayor of Oakland, a stint between his two terms as…
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