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Talk back: Antonio Villaraigosa for president?

July 31, 2012 |  1:44 pm

Villaraigosa
Despite a steadily increasing national stature since he was first elected mayor of Los Angeles in 2005, Antonio Villaraigosa says he's not interested in the Oval Office.

Sacramento, on the other hand, is a different matter.

When asked recently by an ABC News reporter if he wanted to be president one day, the head of the nation's second-largest city dismissed the idea.

Talk back LA"The answer is no," Villaraigosa said. "I want to finish this job with a bang. I want to go out with my head up high. I want to say to this city, 'I put everything into this job.' "

But the mayor reiterated his interest in running for governor, something he has already privately expressed.

"The job I've said to people I would like is I would like to be governor of the state of California," he said.

Villaraigosa, who took office in July 2005, has said little publicly about what his plans will be once his second mayoral term ends in June 2013. He currently heads the U.S. Conference of Mayors and has been a vocal supporter of the Obama administration.

In February, Villaraigosa was named chairman of this summer's Democratic National Convention. He will wield the gavel during the three-day gathering in Charlotte, N.C., which begins Sept. 3.

What do you think? Should Villaraigosa pursue a higher office once his mayoral term ends? Would he make a good presidential candidate? Or should he keep his sights on Sacramento? Weigh in by tweeting @LANow, posting on our local Facebook page or writing in the comments section below.

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-- Kate Mather
Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

Photo: L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is shown at a Hollywood news conference in December. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times

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