On Thursday, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa officially began his 2018 campaign for governor of California.
Villaraigosa has had a three year hiatus from the political landscape and enters what is expected to become a large field of contenders in the upcoming months.
The former mayor said that his campaign will be focused on rebuilding the middle class and assisting Californians who have been “left behind” in the new economy. He also said that he would be focusing on improving public schools and repairing the state’s deteriorating infrastructure such as roads and bridegs.
No fan of President-elect Donald Trump, Villaraigosa wasted no time in taking a shot, “I’m running because I think the answer to the divisiveness we see in the country right now is unity, and the answer to fear is hope,” the former mayor said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“We are a state that builds bridges, not walls. We are inclusive. We celebrate our diversity. And we welcome newcomers,” he added.
The 63 year old Democrat made the long-expected announcement online on his newly launched website, releasing the following statement:
“Making our state work for everyone starts with making sure everyone has a voice.
I’m running for Governor to do big things—starting with rebuilding our middle class by investing in our schools and repairing our infrastructure.
But we’re never going to make this state work for us again unless we give voice to the people who are all too often not heard in Sacramento.
That’s what my campaign is about—giving voice to everyone. That’s what my service as governor will be about—making sure the people are heard in Sacramento and their priorities are addressed.”
The former two term mayor who left office in 2013 had a number of successes such as bulking up the police department and seeding a transit building boom. However, he is often faulted for over-promising.
He was raised on a single mother who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. Prior to serving as mayor, the high school dropout served as speaker of the California Assembly.