Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by liberal Democrat Barbara Boxer after 2016. With strong support among Latino voters in California, Villaraigosa was seen as a major potential threat to Attorney General Kamala Harris (D), who was the first to declare for the seat
With Villaraigosa out of the running, the path is cleared for Harris–unless Condoleezza Rice or another household name enters the Senate fray.
Villaraigosa is rumored to have struck a deal with Harris under which he would not challenge her in the Senate race, and she would support his future political choices in return–either for a statewide office, or for the U.S. Senate seat that may become available should incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein decide to join Boxer in retirement after 2018.
The mayor was known during his tenure for clashing with teachers’ unions, developing downtown and expanding public transport.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the forthcoming ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak