Outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday gave one of his most specific hints about his continuing interest in running for California governor -- telling KPCC radio host Larry Mantle that he wants the job and expects to run one day.
"You mentioned governor -- look, I believe in public service, I want to run for governor. In fact, I fully expect that I will," Villaraigosa said. "I'm going to tell you something. I will never have a job like this. This city has given me more than I could have ever hoped for."
Villaraigosa, who leaves office June 30, did not talk about timing, though he has indicated before he would not run against Gov. Jerry Brown, a fellow Democrat, who will be up for a second term next year.
The 60-year-old mayor said in March, "One day I'd like to run for governor, but there's not a vacancy last time I looked." Villaraigosa is leaving the mayor's office after the maximum eight years. He has been credited with building the Police Department to 10,000 officers, though he also laid off a substantial portion of the city workforce because of tax shortfalls during the nation's Great Recession.
Villaraigosa had earlier been rumored to have a shot at an appointment to President Obama's cabinet, perhaps as Labor secretary. No job was forthcoming and the mayor has been unclear about what he will do beginning July 1.