California gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa has focused his efforts ahead of the 2018 elections on reaching out to Latino voters.
“When I ran in 2001 and 2005, I said, ‘I want to be the mayor for all of us,'” Villaraigosa said during Wednesday evening at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, according to the Los Angeles Times.
He was joined by former Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and Mickey Ibarra, former director of intergovernmental affairs for former President Bill Clinton, to read excerpts from the book Latino Leaders Speak: Stories of Struggle and Triumph, to which he and Molina contributed. Ibarra reportedly co-edited the book.
“I’d like to see turnout increase dramatically among all demographics. But clearly, one of them is the group who votes the least, and that’s the Latino community,” he said, according to the Times.
After the event, Villaraigosa reportedly said, “A big part of our campaign is going to be to energize and organize that part of the electorate.”
In September, the state Legislature’s California Latino Caucus endorsed Villaraigosa, a move that is expected to help the former Los Angeles mayor in the polls, but which is not yet enough to take him past Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is still seen as the frontrunner.
Last month, Villaraigosa revealed his game plan strategy to take on Newsom, which is focused on turning out Latino and working-class voters.
His campaign released a 12-minute video, in which he spoke partly in Spanish, with English subtitles, during a visit to the Mexican border where he and a group of volunteers, whom he referred to as “angels,” delivered water to immigrants illegally crossing into the United States.
“We’re delivering this water because more than 10,000 people have lost their lives crossing the border with their hopes — reuniting their family, working for what we know as the American Dream,” Villaraigosa said, after criticizing President Donald Trump’s “anti-immigration policy, anti-Mexican policy.”