Loading...
ICYMI: Antonio Villaraigosa Featured in The New York Times

ICYMI: Antonio Villaraigosa Featured in The New York Times

  • Share this Article

In case you missed it – Antonio’s interview with Mike McPhate was featured in The New York Times this morning.

“I’ve been talking about the need to focus on an economy that’s working for more people and building more middle-class jobs. We need to restore the luster of the California dream and make sure that that dream is for everyone, not based on your zip code or what part of the state you live in.”

You can read the New York Times article by Mike McPhate below:

California Today: A Candidate for Governor Looks to the Central Valley

antonio villaraigosa new york times orange county register ap photo

Antonio R. Villaraigosa, a former mayor of Los Angeles, has been courting Central Valley voters in his bid for governor. Credit Mark Rightmire/The Orange County Register, via Associated Press


 

The path to the governorship of California winds through the Central Valley.

That, at least, is the idea animating the candidacy of Antonio R. Villaraigosa, a former two-term mayor of Los Angeles and speaker of the State Assembly.

While California is a blue state, candidates in the 2018 governor’s race won’t be able to rely on Democratic votes alone. Among registered voters, roughly 45 percent are Democrats, and 26 percent Republican.

Mr. Villaraigosa, 64, was raised by a single mother in a poor neighborhood on Los Angeles’s Eastside.

In speeches and interviews, he has portrayed himself as a potential champion of California’s interior, where he spent time during an extended “listening tour” that began in 2015.

Along the way, he’s taken shots at his better-funded rival, Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor and former San Francisco mayor, whose candidacy has been a favorite of voters in the Bay Area.

We caught up with Mr. Villaraigosa by phone. Some excerpts:

Q. How do you differ from the other Democratic candidates?

A. I’ve been talking about the need to focus on an economy that’s working for more people and building more middle-class jobs. We need to restore the luster of the California dream and make sure that that dream is for everyone, not based on your ZIP code or what part of the state you live in.

What have you been hearing from people in the Central Valley?

I think there is a sense that they want to be included in the California rebound that they hear politicians talk about in Sacramento virtually daily. When you hear people say “We’re creating more jobs,” what they don’t say is that, while that’s true, most of that has been in the Bay Area and along the coast.

I think we should all be concerned that Marin County has among the nation’s highest rankings for well-being and 100 miles away in the Central Valley, they have among the lowest.

What’s your pitch to the Bay Area?

The pitch to the Bay Area and to the affluent parts of Los Angeles or San Diego or any place on the coast is that we won’t survive and thrive if we’re not growing together.

A high-wage worker puts more money into our Social Security system. A high-wage worker is buying more goods. A high-wage worker is less dependent on the public health system.

How do you assess Eric Garcetti’s tenure as mayor of Los Angeles?

Oh, I’m not running against Garcetti.

You’re the former mayor, you must …

I take a page out of Bush’s playbook, where he didn’t comment about Obama, and Obama doesn’t comment for the most part about Trump — you would think he’d comment a lot more given what Trump does — but you know Garcetti is a very popular mayor in this town. He’s got his own record that he can point to.

This interview has been condensed and edited.