LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti found himself sidestepping questions again on whether he intends to run for president after announcing Oct. 29 that he will not run for governor of California.
When Garcetti made his regular radio appearance on the “Ask the Mayor” segment on KNX 1070 Oct. 30, he was asked if he would confirm if he’s considering a run for the presidency or would respond to a report from TMZ.com that cited multiple sources saying he is exploring a run.
“I like living in the moment and serving the people with the job that they’ve given me,” Garcetti said, adding that he is not giving serious consideration to running.
The day before, Garcetti ended speculation that he will be a candidate for California governor in 2018.
“I have decided not to run for governor of California,” he said in a Twitter post about 2:30 p.m. “I am passionate about my city and my family; both are here in Los Angeles.”
Garcetti, 46, is one of the youngest big-city mayors in the nation, but he cannot run for a third term under city term limits. He coasted to re-election with about 82 percent of the vote in March, against 10 mostly unknown candidates.
Some political observers say Garcetti is gearing up for a presidential bid in 2020, citing a trip he recently made to New Hampshire, which is traditionally home to the nation’s first presidential primary. The mayor has not ruled out a run while also saying he is not strongly considering one when asked by reporters over the last several months.
Politico reported that Garcetti is starting a nonprofit with other mayors and indicated it could be part of a plan for a run at the presidency, calling him a “possible 2020 hopeful.”
“Prospective presidential candidates tend to launch PACs to pump money into campaigns of people who might prove helpful. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is starting a nonprofit with other mayors, union leaders and business executives to fund what they call innovation investments around the country,” the story said.
In his appearance on KNX, Garcetti discussed the nonprofit, called Accelerator for America, and said it was a place for mayors to exchange ideas.
He said passage of Measure M, a half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters last November that is expected to raise $120 billion for transportation projects, is one idea other mayors are interested in.
“I think when I talk to the mayor of Nashville, she wants to do something on the ballot this coming year, and we can share that. And vice versa, I can learn lessons when I go to those places that I can bring back to Los Angeles,” Garcetti said. “But I think really, everybody said to do a good job with what you have in front of you, and the future will take care of itself. I am much more passionate about my job here in L.A. than any of those next steps and thoughts.”