Amanda Renteria Says She’s Not a Stalking Horse for Villaraigosa

Amanda Renteria (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Amanda Renteria, Hillary Clinton’s national political director in the 2016 presidential race, insists that she is not a stalking horse for fellow Democrat candidate Antonio Villaraigosa in the 2018 California governor’s race.

Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, is neck-and-neck with Democrat frontrunner Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Renteria’s sudden entrance into the packed race last week raised eyebrows and led to questions about whether her decision was made to undercut Villaraigosa by drawing Central Valley and Hispanic votes away from him. Renteria, like Villaraigosa, is the daughter of Mexican immigrants.

In an interview with the Sacramento Bee, Renteria dismissed claims that she entered had the race to draw votes away from Villaraigosa as a “Trump-like conspiracy theory.” In an interview with the Fresno Bee, she added, “I am not running as a spoiler. It’s the most emphatic no possible.”
In a previous video interview with the Bee, Renteria said she felt a very specific and personal responsibility to counter President Donald Trump’s alleged “demonization” of immigrants.
Despite having less than four months to prepare for the June 5 primary, Renteria reportedly dismissed the need to raise millions of dollars for her campaign and insisted she would succeed through a “grassroots” campaign that would offer a “new voice” to voters who have turned away from big money in politics.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Renteria said, “We’re going to do it differently. If I’m running a traditional campaign where you are looking to raise $10 million … that wouldn’t work at this point.”
She added that she had decided to enter the governor’s race after attending a debate at UCLA last month and witnessing Newsom and Villaraigosa “descend into an argument over who became more rich by the use of their political power.”

Renteria reportedly worked for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in Washington, D.C. She also ran a failed bid for Congress against Rep. David Valadao (D-Hanford) in 2014 before going on to work on Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential bid. Following that stint, she worked as the chief of operations for state Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

When the Los Angeles Times asked her if she could count on support from Clinton, Renteria said, “I think this is about going directly to the voters.”

Due to her late entrance into the race, Renteria will not be able to speak at the California Democratic Party’s annual convention in San Diego this weekend. It is also unclear whether she will attend.

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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