LA Mayor's Political Star Back on the Rise


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has recently renewed his aspirations for the governorship of California after a bout of indecision due to a slumping city economy, extramarital affair and a series of perceived shortcomings in City Hall.
Regardless of the controversy surrounding 59-year-old Villaraigosa, he was re-elected in 2009 and said this summer he’d like to some day be governor of California. Now the former Assembly speaker and recent chairman of Democratic National Convention is considered a potential candidate for an appointment if President Obama wins a second term in November.
Villaraigosa was heralded as a leading indicator of the rising prominence of Latino politicians in an increasingly diverse state when he was first elected mayor. He withdrew from a gubernatorial bid, however, after an affair scandal broke and Los Angeles magazine put a photograph of him on its cover with the headline, “Failure: So much promise, so much disappointment.”
Villaraigosa increased his national exposure as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and used the position to lobby for passage of a federal transportation bill containing a low-interest loan program for billions of dollars in public transportation projects, including in Los Angeles.
He also has rejoined Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Kamala Harris at the top of a list of Democrats considered likely contenders for governor or U.S. Senate, according to a recent Hispanic Business article.