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.
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.