(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.