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‘Are You Ready For Garcetti?’ ~ L.A. Mayor Not Running for President After All

4:30 PM PST on January 29, 2019

[dropcap size=big]L[/dropcap]os Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday that he will not be running for president after all — despite more than a year of his friends, allies, and funders floating the idea that the L.A. mayor would make a viable candidate for the White House in 2020.

A source close to Garcetti confirmed to L.A. Taco this afternoon that the second-term mayor of the second largest city will drop his bid. The mayor confirmed his exit from the race himself via Twitter an hour later, citing his love for the job and his excitement "to finish the work we have begun here in Los Angeles."

Garcetti had been toying with the idea in public since at least 2017, in often awkward strokes. In this exchange with Good Day LA, Garcetti said he was not raising money in the Midwest, but still "going around the country talking to folks." Watch:

His boosters even put out a "Latino Urban" track pumping up the fourth-generation L.A. native and son of former L.A. District Attorney Gil Garcetti (YouTube clip since removed).

Yet despite months of travel to Washington and key early primary states — and a drummed-up media narrative — Garcetti faced scrutiny and criticism at home in Los Angeles for a host of problems besetting the city: homelessness, a housing crisis, traffic woes, and the increasing gentrification and inequality that feed into it.

The mayor's office is also took a hit after Joel Jacinto, one of his appointees on the Board of Public Works, resigned, and Ray Chan, his former deputy mayor, was mentioned in an FBI warrant. Both of their names came up in the FBI warrant looking into alleged money laundering, bribery, and kickbacks involving Councilman Jose Huizar.

The warrant also mentions L.A. City Councilman Curren Price and a senior aide to Council President Herb Wesson, painting a less than pristine image of City Hall.

No mayor in U.S. history has ever jumped from a town hall to the White House. Fellow Californian, freshman Sen. Kamala Harris, announced on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that she is running a presidential campaign for 2020. The mayor was asked on Tuesday if the senator's entry affected his decision.

"She called me in the midst of the teachers strike here to tell me personally because we've been friends for a long time," Garcetti responded. "I said how proud I was of her. I'm very proud of her, but it had zero percent [effect] on my decision."

[UPDATED: 6:42 PM]

[UPDATED: 9:49 PM]

RELATED: ‘I’m Not Responsible 100% For Everybody’ ~ Mayor Garcetti Responds To Questions About Expansive FBI Probe

Erick Galindo contributed to this report.

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