Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Tuesday that he would not enter the race for Barbara Boxer’s seat in the U.S. Senate, leaving state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris as the only major candidate.
“I am humbled by the encouragement I’ve received from so many to serve in the United States Senate,” Villaraigosa said in a written statement. “But as I think about how best to serve the people of this great state, I know that my heart and my family are here in California, not Washington, D.C.”
Villaraigosa’s surprise decision followed weeks of meetings and phone conversations with Democratic luminaries, campaign consultants, fundraisers and potential supporters. Close allies had expected him to run.
The June 2016 Senate primary would have been Villaraigosa’s first tough campaign since he unseated Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn in 2005. Win or lose, it would have put Villaraigosa back in the public spotlight after 19 months of keeping a low profile in the private sector.
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