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Former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Jumps into CA Governor’s Race

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has jumped into the California governor's race.

Without naming President-elect Donald Trump directly, Villaraigosa, a Democrat, said he wants to unite California and welcome newcomers, instead of building walls. In a video he posted on social media, he said he plans to help California's economy grow by increasing education funding and rebuilding infrastructure like roads and bridges. Current California Gov. Jerry Brown's term ends in 2018.

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Villaraigosa, 63, signaled his potential candidacy when he formed the political action committee Building Bridges, Not Walls earlier this year as it became clear Trump was closing in on securing the GOP nomination.

"This week, our nation chose a new president," Villaraigosa begins in his video. "That is why I think this is exactly the time to remember the vision that has always made California great. We are a state that builds bridges, not walls, we are inclusive, we celebrate our diversity and welcome newcomers because we know the answer to fear is hope."

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As mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa invested billions into LA's transit system. He is credited with improving public safety and in increasing the city's alternative energy use, while reducing reliance on coal. He did not achieve what he hoped with the city's schools or on spending, but he was seen as having made progress on the ambitious goals he set.

Villaraigosa also rose to national prominence. In 2012, he chaired the Democratic National Convention, where President Barack Obama was nominated a second time. Villaraigosa served several years in the California State Assembly and on the Los Angeles City Council.

"I want to help rebuild the middle class by investing in our schools and repairing our state's infrastructure," Villaraigosa said in a statement. "And I want to bring our state together to make sure that everyone has a chance to succeed and the opportunity to achieve his or her own California dream. Most importantly, I want to make sure every voice is heard."

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