Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Declines to Pursue Senate Seat

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Antonio Villaraigosa

The decision leaves Kamala Harris as Hollywood's favorite candidate for the slot.

Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday officially took himself out of the race to replace retiring Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, leaving the field to state attorney general Kamala Harris.

"I am humbled by the encouragement I've received from so many to serve in the United States Senate," Villaraigosa said in a statement. "But as I think about how best to serve the people of this great state, I know that my heart and my family are here in California, not Washington, D.C. I have decided not to run for the U.S. Senate and instead continue my efforts to make California a better place to live, work and raise a family. We have come a long way, but our work is not done, and neither am I."

A Villaraigosa candidacy would have split the Hollywood support, which will now favor Harris, a popular figure within the entertainment industry.

The former L.A. mayor, whose statement was released Tuesday afternoon by former Obama operative Bill Burton, had previously expressed an interested in running for governor when Jerry Brown leaves office in 2019.

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