Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, once considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, said on Tuesday that he had decided against running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated next year by the retirement of Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer.
Villaraigosa, 62, widely believed to still be weighing a possible 2018 bid for governor, said in a message posted on Facebook that he wished to "continue my efforts to make California a better place to live, work and raise a family."
His decision to bow out of contention for the U.S. Senate leaves current California Attorney General Kamala Harris as the clear front-runner to succeed Boxer in 2016.
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