Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, tired of all the speculation regarding his political future, said Friday he has no desire to serve as U.S. Transportation Secretary or in any other cabinet post in the Obama administration.
The mayor, who is termed out in July, issued the statement on his return from South Korea where he attended the Special Olympics. His name had been floated as a possible successor to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who announced this week that he would step down.
"I have said many times that I will be focused on my job as Mayor of Los Angeles until 11:59 and 59 seconds on June 30, 2013," Villaraigosa said.
"I am flattered and humbled by the speculation that has included my name for a possible Cabinet secretary position, but I am firmly committed to remaining in L.A. and finishing my term."
Speculation about the mayor taking a role in the Obama administration has been floating for years and heightened with all the departures as the president begins his second term.
Villaraigosa has played a high-profile role in the past year, helping to bring out the Latino vote in southwest states and serving as chair of the Democratic National Convention. He also made a number of trips to Washington D.C. over the past few years in his role as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and in lobbying for his America Fast Forward transportation funding program.
When asked about his political future, the mayor has offered differing statements to national news organizations that have fueled speculation that he would take a job in the Obama administration.
Most recently, he told the Wall Street Journal that when "the president asks something, you say yes or yes, sir."
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