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Alex Padilla says he's weighing a run for L.A. mayor in 2013

November 10, 2010 |  3:38 pm

State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) said Wednesday that he is considering running for Los Angeles mayor when the post comes open in 2013.

"I'm definitely looking at it," Padilla said in response to a question at a downtown luncheon meeting of the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum.  "Los Angeles is my home."

Padilla, who won election last week to a second four-year term in the  Senate, is a former member of the Los Angeles City Council. He was first elected to the council  in 1999 at age 26. Two years later, he became the first Latino -- and the youngest council member -- to be elected council president.

His acknowledgement that he is interested in the mayor's post came after a talk about the post-election prospects for state leaders to resolve the fast-growing state budget gap and other issues in the coming year.

Padilla predicted that Democratic Gov.-elect Jerry Brown would be more effective in dealing with the polarized, Democrat-dominated Legislature than was Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, not just because of party but also because Brown has vastly more political experience.

Brown has "more of a respect and appreciation for the art of governing," Padilla said. Nonetheless, if Brown "can't get traction" with the Legislature, he won't hesitate to take his initiatives directly to voters, the senator said.

Padilla also said he could envision a scenario in which voters would be asked this spring to choose between two budgets: one made up largely of program cuts and a second combining cuts and measures that would improve revenues.  During the campaign, Brown promised not to raise taxes without voter approval.

-- Jean Merl