Former Los Angeles Mayor and City Terrace native Antonio Villaraigosa has officially began running for California governor. In a statement from his campaign, Villaraigosa says he will work to rebuild the middle class, improve public schools and repair deteriorating state infrastructure.
The Los Angeles Times reports Villaraigosa has considered a run for California’s top statewide office since the days that he was mayor. During Villaraigosa’s time in office, he campaigned to raise $40 billion dollars for public transportation reform through Measure R and Los Angeles graduation rates rose from 36 to 77 percent, according to his campaign. Villaraigosa’s rise to becoming L.A.’s first Latino mayor since 1872 was seen as an increase in Latino political power during 2005, the Times writes.
A graduate of Roosevelt High School, Villarraigosa was elected to the State Assembly in 1994 and a few years later became the first Latino Speaker of the legislative body. After being defeated in a 2001 run for Los Angeles mayor, he ran for and won a City Council seat representing the 14th District in 2003. Two years later he ran for Mayor and won, and was reelected in 2009.
Since leaving office in 2013, Villaraigosa worked with controversial nutritional company Herbalife. The former mayor has also been a part-time professor at USC, and worked with the Banc of California and the global public relations firm Edelman.
The 2018 governor election is expected to be a competitive one between current Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, State Treasurer John Chiang, former state superintendent of public instruction Delaine Eastin and now Villaraigosa.
Photo above: Antonio Villarraigosa after leaving polls on election day, Nov. 8 2016. Photo from Twitter account @antonio4ca