Posted on Mon, Feb. 02, 2009
last updated: February 02, 2009 07:30:04 AM
LOS ANGELES — Barely a year ago, Antonio Villaraigosa's political star seemed anything but luminous.
His wife divorced him after he admitted an affair with a Spanish-language television reporter. A court blocked his high-profile move to seize control of Los Angeles' troubled school system. News columnists charged that a notorious self-promoter was getting his public comeuppance.
And yet the Los Angeles mayor is soaring again in the City of Angels. He is running virtually unchallenged for re-election in March against a field of under-funded unknowns. He is widely discussed as a likely 2010 gubernatorial candidate.
Villaraigosa, who emerged from a difficult upbringing in the tough urban district of City Terrace to take over City Hall in America's second-largest city, is leading again with passion and swagger.
Despite questions of personal character, Villaraigosa has consolidated his power with public charisma and backroom chutzpah. With a month to go before the election, he has chased away serious challengers, vacuuming up campaign dollars despite the city's $1,000-per-person limit.
Read the full story at sacbee.com