Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday said that he won’t be running for the US Senate seat which will be vacated by Senator Barbara Boxer (D., California) in 2016 following her retirement after five-year of service.
62-year-old Villaraigosa, who was once known as a rising star in the Democratic Party, said that he made the decision to not contest Senate bid as he is more interested in California and weighing a possible governor bid in 2018.
“I am humbled by the encouragement I have received from so many to serve in the US Senate. But, I know that my heart and my family are here in California, not Washington, D.C.,” Villaraigosa said in a statement.
In a post on Facebook, he said, “I wish to continue my efforts to make California a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
Villaraigosa’s decision to opt out of the US Senate bid will clearly leave California Attorney General Kamala Harris, another Democrat, as the front-runner for Boxer’s seat.
Environmental activist Tom Steyer and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom are among the popular Democratic leaders in the state who have declined to run for seat vacated by Senate Boxer.
Former San Francisco Mayor and California’s lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom was seen as a possible candidate for Senate, but he later this month announced his political ambitions for going for governor bid in 2018.