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Garcetti announces he won’t run for president

LOS ANGELES — After more than a year of speculation and travels to political hotspots across the country, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Jan. 29 he has decided against a bid for the presidency in 2020.

“Reflecting on those travels and recognizing the incredible opportunity I have every single day as mayor of this great town, I realize this is what I am meant to do,” Garcetti said at a City Hall news conference. “This is where I want to be and this is a place where we have so much exciting work to finish. I’ve also realized in my thinking that I’m kind of old-fashioned. It may be out of vogue today, but I kind of believe that whenever possible, you should finish the job that you set out to do.”

Garcetti was reelected to a second term in 2017 in a landslide and has openly explored a potential presidential run ever since through a number of political trips, including visits to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

But with a likely Democratic field that political experts estimate will reach more than 20 contenders, Garcetti chose to stay at City Hall for the time being.

“This was not an easy decision given the extraordinary times we live in,” he said. “As an American, like so many of us, we look to Washington for our better angels. We look to a government that would be kind and caring, but today we see one that is corrupt and cruel. Worst of all, they can’t seem to get anything done.

“You can’t make anything great if it doesn’t even work, and we all need to make America work again,” he said in another jab at President Donald Trump. “And you can count on me in that fight always. I’m so proud to be mayor of this city, the City of Angels, 4 million souls who have entrusted in me the leadership of this city of tomorrow. It embodies an America where we all belong.”

He said he was encouraged by the people who have already thrown their hats into the ring.

“Each of them share my belief in a more United States of America,” he said. “And they can count on me to be with them every step of that fight to take our country back.”

Until as recently as last week, Garcetti acknowledged to reporters he was still thinking of running.

“I think we have a TV reality star as president. We had our first African-American president,” Garcetti told CBS News last week when asked about the potential of being the first mayor to jump right into the White House. “The time for obviously trying new things — in both positive and sometimes negative ways — is upon us. I don’t think it’s about your resume anymore.”

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