Villaraigosa Says, “Aw, Shucks, I'll Just Stay in LA”

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in remarks published Tuesday that he will not be joining President-elect Barack
Obama's cabinet.

Villaraigosa said he had a "conversation" with Obama in mid-November about joining the new Democratic administration but told the incoming president that he would stay in Los Angeles to focus on his reelection campaign and ongoing efforts to address the city's financial troubles and other pressing issues, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I'm honored and flattered to have been considered for an appointment in the Obama administration," Villaraigosa told The Times. "I made it clear I love what I do. And I feel that at this moment in my life, this is the job in which I can best serve my city and country."

Villaraigosa faces no strong opposition in the city's March primary election, and the deadline for mayoral candidates to file has already passed.

The mayor's name has continued to surface in connection with the future Obama administration in part because of growing pressure on the president-elect to appoint an ethnically diverse cabinet and disappointment by some Latino leaders that he passed over New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson for secretary of state.

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