LOS ANGELES — The famous smile is intact. But there’s a glint of gray in the hair and a collection of wrinkles he didn’t have when he became mayor of Los Angeles eight years ago.
Antonio Villaraigosa (vee-yah-ry-GOH’-sah) makes his exit July 1 after a seesaw run that saw him celebrated as the city’s first Hispanic mayor since 1872, praised for bulking up the police department and transit services, but often mocked, fairly or not, as a party boy who cared more about nightlife than his day job at City Hall.
Now 60 and talking again about running for governor, the Democrat looks back, saying he has learned, “You have to be able to say no to your friends.”
He also says that as mayor, “You are making decisions that will have an impact far into the future. Don’t worry about what people say right now.”