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Villaraigosa touts cousin for federal labor post

February 6, 2013 |  3:33 pm


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa may have taken his name out of the running for a post in the Obama administration, but on Wednesday, he promoted his cousin, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, for a federal appointment.

During an online chat, the mayor responded to rumors that Pérez was on the president’s list of candidates to replace Californian Hilda Solis as Labor secretary.  

 “I heard my cousin by the way is on the list and I’m glad he is. I’ve said to a number of people he would make a great secretary of Labor.” If the job is tendered and Pérez accepts it: “I wish him luck,” the mayor said.

Pérez downplayed the possibility yesterday, saying, “I'm always flattered if somebody thinks my work is worthy of other consideration, but I'm focused on being speaker for these next two years."

Pérez was just elected to his third term in the state Assembly, an office he will be forced to leave next year due to term limits. He was said to be considering a run for Los Angeles County supervisor only if Solis, a prohibitive favorite for the seat now held by Gloria Molina, opts not to run for the job.

Pérez is the first openly gay state Assembly speaker. He’s also a former officer of the United Food and Commercial Workers International union.

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--Anthony York in Sacramento

Photo: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. Credit: Associated Press