(CNN) - Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he will not run for governor of California next year.
Villaraigosa made the announcement in an exclusive interview on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
The mayor, who was re-elected earlier this year, told Blitzer "the answer's no. I make that decision, as I've said many times, because I love the city I was born and raised in."
"I can't leave this city in the middle of a crisis, it's as simple as that," added Villaraigosa. "I was elected mayor and re-elected by the people of this city. They've given me the honor of a second term and I feel compelled to complete the promise that I've made to them."
"For several weeks now, Mayor Villaraigosa has been telling donors he doesn't have the fire in his belly to run for Governor," said CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin. "The timing was awful for him – he's just been re-elected mayor. And he's under a lot of pressure to make good on some of his promises to turn around Los Angeles."
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced in April that he would run for Democratic nomination for governor in next year's election. California Attorney General and former governor Jerry Brown indictes he plans to run as well, but he has not officially tossed his hat into the gubernatorial ring. Lt. Gov. John Garamendi may also join the contest.
Villaraigosa declined to endorse either Brown or Newsom.
"Without Villaraigosa, it becomes a two man race between Brown and Newsom. Newsome wants to make this a generational battle. He wants to run as Barack Obama and portray Brown as Hillary Clinton. But what's ironic is that both Brown and Newsom endorsed Clinton in last year's Democratic primaries," said CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.
"I asked Brown about this generational strategy and he brushed it off. The question is can Newsom make Brown look like a geezer. Brown has always looked like an innovator in California," added Schneider.
On the Republican side, although she hasn't officially announced her candidacy, former eBay executive Meg Whitman appears to be running. She would join former Rep. Tom Campbell and California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who have officially announced their intentions to run for governor of California in 2010.
"All three of the potentional Republican contenders support abortion rights. There is no serious conservative running in the primary," said Schneider.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is term limited and prevented by law to run for re-election next year.
So what's next for Villaraigosa?
"I've spoken to plenty of supporters who think he'll have a bright future if he recommits himself to LA. Plenty of them think if he does a good job there could be an open senate seat for him to pursue in 2012," added Yellin.
@ Billy Ray Valentine, Philadelphia, PA June 22nd, 2009 4:49 pm ET
where's Ronald regan when you really need him?
Uh . . . dead. Didn't you hear?
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a not a KING, but is a KING MAKER.
Whomsoever he will support will the California Governor.
Be still my heart!! It may be a joke!!!!
GOP is Anti-Hispanic. We have seen here via all those GOPERS who hate Hispanics.
GOP IS A RACIST PARTY.
I'm always amused at that quirky "American" trait of your citizenry being more incensed and outraged over politician's personal life, yet remain silent and accept it with apathy when a president lies about going to war, sending over 4,000 young men and women to their deaths.
California has a bunch of liberal nuts in Sacramento. It doesn't matter who is governor since they are just going to keep spending JUST LIKE CONGRESS. Tax and spend until the money runs out.
Villaraigosa is a better mayor than many I have seen. When people say he has not done anything good, that's simply not true. We are in a terrible crisis now. One that has been in the making for many years. We all know that yet some choose to act like our leaders should be beyond human and just magically fix things. If there is a let down when it comes to Villaraigosa, it's due to some peoples own ridicules over the top expectations of him– just like many have of Obama.
Wonderful news! Not buying his excuse though - I think he knows better?! I very much like Meg Whitman for Governor.
Please keep Newsom in San Francisco.
Newsom = Pelosi
Comment by 'Victorino Sanchez' June 22nd, 2009 5:13 pm ET
GOP is Anti-Hispanic? Oh, please!
You sound ignorant…weak argument…take it from a Hispanic Republican!
The majority of Hispanics (like yourself) are ill-informed about Rupublicans. FYI – It was a Republican (President Reagan) who signed the Amnesty Bill in 1986.
Gavin Newsom(SF Mayor) and Villaraigosa(LA Mayor) have common things that had ever have affair with young women so that it caused them to divorce. Both of them and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spawned a huge financial problems in two major cities in CA. CA needs new Gov. who has realistic and reform experiences from economic spot. I've considered Carly Fiorina of former chairwoman of HP and Meg Witman of former CEO of e-Bay.
GO FIORINA OR WITMAN in 2010.
I live in California and I am sick of the "governor" (I use this term loosely) that we currently have. I was hoping he would run – because if we get Whitman the state would be in worse shape that it is now. Has anyone looked at the mess that she left E-Bay in
Inter national? And Obama gets the praise..... How?
Yeah, it is true...I mean, he does have an ugly last name, look at it? LOL!!
Here's my recommendation to you if you are running...be honest, Cali deserves better. They do, don't waste people's time.
Thank Goodness. Villaraigosa is nothing more than a political opportuniest. Our choices are pretty slim for potential candidates: Whitman is a no go she left E-Bay in a mess, Poizner is an opportunist who would sell his soul for more power. Newsom is young and has some interesting ideas but I think he is more of an opportunist as well. That leaves Tom Campbell or Jerry Brown.
Cambell is a centrist and Brown is an innovator.
For hundreds of years millions have died fighti ng for Kings and Queens in Europe. Now America through Obama are give the Planet back to these kings. Your Barack Obama is the Devil himself...