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On TV, Villaraigosa deflects questions about run for governor

March 8, 2009 |  1:30 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today deflected questions about a possible run for governor during an appearance on national television, stressing that he is focused on guiding the city through troubled economic times.

"I love Los Angeles. And I’m focused on this job," Villaraigosa said on CNN’s "State of the Union With John King." "I want to get people back to work. I want to continue to build on the foundation that we’ve done in the past."

After he won reelection last week, Villaraigosa said he was not ruling out a bid for governor and promised to be clear about his intentions. King pressed Villaraigosa to assess his chances in the statewide race given that he won just 55% of the vote in last week’s municipal election without any serious challengers.

"The fact of the matter is we won overwhelmingly," Villaraigosa responded. "But the important thing is that we’ve got a lot of work to do. I recognize that. I’m prepared to roll up my sleeves and work across partisan lines with business and labor, with everybody, with the Congress and the state to get the job done."

King retorted: "You sound like an almost-candidate there, Mr. Mayor."

Villaraigosa did not disagree.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske