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Tuesday
Sep122017

SACRAMENTO: 2018 gubernatorial election, Antonio Villaraigosa: "Antonio Villaraigosa banks on historic Latino groundswell in race for governor, but concedes his time might be over"  

***2018 gubernatorial election, Antonio Villaraigosa....

* Los Angeles Times (Michael Finnegan):  "Antonio Villaraigosa banks on historic Latino groundswell in race for governor, but concedes his time might be over" - From the LAT:

A few dozen migrants from Mexico looked up from the Salinas Valley field where they were picking strawberries and watched Antonio Villaraigosa’s convoy rumble toward them in a cloud of dust. Moments later, the former Los Angeles mayor, wearing shiny black dress shoes, stepped out of a sedan. “Hola, señora — Antonio Villaraigosa,” he told Estela Almanza, a fruit sorter. He inspected a handful of ripe berries for news cameras and greeted Almanza’s coworkers, most of them covered in hats, scarves and hoodies. “Buenas tardes. Hola.”

The harvest was the highlight of a Monterey Bay campaign swing for Villaraigosa, a Democrat running for governor. It came almost 50 years after he broke into politics as an East L.A. teenager, urging Safeway shoppers to join a grape boycott for farmworker rights. He went on to serve as state Assembly speaker and win two terms as mayor.

But now, four years after his mayoralty came to an end, Villaraigosa, 64, is no longer the scrappy upstart whose rise to power symbolized Latinos’ growing clout in California. Instead, he stands out as the oldest of the top contenders for governor in the June 2018 primary. He is painfully aware that Californians might deny him what he craves: one more act in public life. “Maybe it passed me up,” he conceded to guests at a July reception in Stockton. “Maybe I’m yesterday’s news. Maybe I’m just a guy who was starting out 20-some-odd years ago, broke glass ceilings — but maybe my time is over.”

The burst of candor was not a sign that he lacks hope; he doesn’t. But it did reflect his recognition that the odds, once again, are stacked against him. “I have no shot if I don’t work my ass off,” Villaraigosa told another group in Stockton during a 14-hour day of back-to-back events in the Central Valley.

Critics are less kind. “The aroma around Villaraigosa to me seems stale,” said Nathan Ballard, a former top advisor to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Villaraigosa’s chief rival.

One obstacle is a shortage of money. At the end of June, Villaraigosa reported $4.5 million in the bank — well behind Newsom and John Chiang, both fellow Democrats. Newsom had $16 million, and Chiang, the state treasurer, $9 million.

The strength of Villaraigosa’s political base is also uncertain ..............