(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.
Well he had a good chance of winning if he did. Maybe Jean Claude Van Damme will run.
Are you kidding me? There have been few politicians that came in with higher expectations and achieved less. A HUGE disappointment. Truly, an empty suit.
Looks like he heard back from John Edwards, John Ensign, Ted Kennedy, et al on the political fall out from adultery.
Can't blame him on this one. Who WOULD want that job given the terrible fiscal mess that state is in?
Thank goodness! He's nothing but an idiot masquerading as a mayor
I like Mayor Villareigosa and wish him all the best.
I am a die hard Democrat and I like both Newsom and Brown, but I need someone who is going to stand up for us and even if is against our own Party.
Newsom for California 2010
Change We Need
He already announced that decision last week. Hardly a scopp there, CNN.
You mean that those posters who got riled up in the previous ticker were upset for naught? This is why we need health care reform ASAP.
Hopefully Gavin Newsome will announce the same thing soon!!!
Why doesn't Redford, Sean Penn, or Alec Baldwin run. All they do is run their mouth about how bad things are, and they are always offering "advice." Well, this is the time to put-up or shut-up.
It was a good decision on his part. The political wolves would have checked into his background and business associations and torn him apart. He knows that. He would have gone down in flames long before the election got serious.
Where is Mark Sanford?
Thank goodness...he can't even run Los Angeles...how could anyone expect that he could run all of California?!
Apparently the female reporters willing to bang married politicians are better looking in LA than in Sacramento.
It would be great if newsom and brown would also decide not to
this is a surprise to me... I really thought he would run. Oh well, I bet Brown and newsome are happy. But I would have liked to see it come down to Villagairosa and Newsome.
Good news and bad- Good news because we Californians need a rbetter man the Villarigosa as Govenor. The Bad news- we Angelino's are stuck with him.
Maybe if Newsome wins we can give him to Frisco!
where's Ronald regan when you really need him?
It's difficult not to label this as whimpin' out of the race. We were hopin' this guy could do something for the Californian minorities. What a let down!
Villareigosa is no loss, but Alfred E should check into Newsom's backgroung before he throws stones. Newsom by the way will make a great gov.
Thank God!!! He can;t even run LA...since he's been mayor, nothing has changed at all...same ole problems... when can we actually get a real winner?!
Villaraigosa couldn't win, so he made a good, informed decision.