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Villaraigosa says relationship with TV anchor won't affect run for governor

June 3, 2009 |  2:18 pm

Two days after revelations that L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was in a relationship with KTLA News anchor Lu Parker, reporters were still peppering the mayor with questions about his personal life.

Tuesday, Villaraigosa told reporters that he had a right to a personal life and a right to some level of privacy. Today, the mayor told reporters at a news conference that the relationship would have no bearing on his upcoming decision on whether to run for governor.

Villaraigosa is seen as one of three leading candidates in the Democratic Party, likely to face San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown if he runs. According to an account from the Associated Press, the mayor also questioned whether voters really care about whom he dates:

At a City Hall news conference, the Democratic mayor said the public has scant interest in his personal life and his decision on entering the 2010 contest to replace Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger “will have nothing to do with any of that.” “My decision will be about one thing -- where I can better serve the people of the city and the people of the state,” Villaraigosa said. He laughed off a question about whether he was in love. “I love life,” he said in response to a reporter’s question.

When it was revealed two years ago that the mayor was having a relationship with TV newscaster Mirthala Salinas, Villaraigosa faced media questions about it for several weeks.

-- Shelby Grad