Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles

Site Search
About us |
Quiénes somos |
A propos de nous | Über uns |
Mayor Monitor

US Mayors

World Mayor
World index of mayors
Mayors from Africa
Mayors from Asia & Australia
Mayors from The Americas
Mayors from Europe
Mayors and political parties
World's largest cities
and their mayors 2011

Elected US mayors

Mayors from Canada and the US (Former mayors in italics)
Akron | Albuquerque | Atlanta (Franklin) | Atlanta (Reed) | Baltimore | Boston | Calgary | Chicago Emanuel | Chicago Daley | Columbus | Dayton | Denver | Detroit (Bing) | Detroit (Kilpatrick) | Edmonton | Harrisburg | Honolulu | Houston (Parker) | Houston (White) | London (Ontario) | Los Angeles | Louisville | Memphis | Miami | Minneapolis | Mississauga | News Orleans (Landrieu) | New Orleans (Nagin) | Newark | New York | Oakland | Oklahoma City | Phoenix | Philiadelphia | Pittsburgh | Pomona | Portland (Adams) | Portland (Potter) | Providence | Salt Lake City (Anderson) | Salt Lake City (Becker) | San Francisco | Seattle (McGinn) | Seattle (Nickels) | South Bay | Southfield | Stamford | Surrey BC | Toronto | Trenton | Tulsa | Washington DC | Winnipeg |

City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |

Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More

City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More

City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More

City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More

City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More

City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More

City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More

City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More

City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More

City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More

City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More

City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More

City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More

City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More

City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More

City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More

City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More

City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More

City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More

City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More

City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More

City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More

City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More

Antonio Villaraigosa
Mayor of Los Angeles

By Andrew Stevens, Deputy Editor

4 March 2009: The first from its majority Latino community, Antonio Villaraigosa became the 41st mayor of Los Angeles in May 2005 when he beat incumbent James Hahn in a run-off vote. Though seen as a competent mayor with 24 years of elected office behind him, the city’s Afro-American voters were seen to punish Hahn over his dismissal of LA police chief Bernard C. Parks in a low turnout poll, electing fellow Democrat Villaraigosa.

Update 21 May 2013: Eric Carcetti elected new mayor of Los Angeles. Antonio Villaraigosa was prevented from standing again due to term-limits.

He was re-elected in March 2009 following challenges by nine minor candidates. Villaraigosa unsuccessfully sought the mayoralty in 2001 but has held a variety of elected posts, including as a state assembly member. The mayor was short-listed for the 2008 World Mayor Award.

Born in 1953 as Antonio Villar to a Mexican father and mother of Mexican descent, his upbringing was blighted by acute poverty, his father’s alcoholism and domestic violence – to this day he is not in contact with his father. He now says he feels he has no need to defend his expensive tastes in clothes, given his childhood years. He was expelled from high school for fighting and became a civil rights activist at just 15, campaigning alongside Cesar Chavez. Although the young Villar was to come into contact with the city’s notorious gang culture, a tutor at East Los Angeles College paid for him to take his SATs. Villar’s passion for activism remained with him at college, where he led protests against the Vietnam war. Having graduated from UCLA with a degree in history, he also obtained a doctorate in jurisprudence from the Peoples’ College of Law.

Villar first came to prominence in city politics as an organiser for the United Teachers of Los Angeles. Having married Corine Raigosa in 1987, they combined their surnames to Villaraigosa. His mother, whom he adored, died in 1990, the year he secured election to Los Angeles’ Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He served on the body until his election to the California State Assembly in 1994 where he became Speaker and one of the most prominent Democrats in the state, earning him national connections that would later serve him well.

Although defeated in the 2001 mayoral race by James Hahn, who hailed from a family of public officials, he gained election to the Los Angeles City Council in 2003. Villaraigosa was chosen by John Kerry to be one of the campaign chairs for his 2004 presidential bid, after which he declared his intention to run for Los Angeles mayor again. Although less than 24% of those registered to vote in the city did so, Villaraigosa beat Hahn handsomely in the run-off vote held after the inconclusive first round where he also led Hahn. The Villaraigosa campaign was notable on this occasion for building a broader coalition of supporters than his previous attempt, securing the vital backing of key Democrats and community leaders. His 2009 re-election effort easily coasted to victory, though not by the wide margin predicted.

Villaraigosa's name is frequently banded around for a number of post-mayoral offices, not least because of the city's term limits. Given the state's burgeoning Latino population, the Governor's mansion or a senatorial bid cannot be ruled out. The mayor enjoys a considerable profile outside of the state of California however, giving the Democratic Party's response to President Bush's 2006 State of the Union address, leading some to dub him 'Mayor Photoraigosa'. Villaraigosa was even suggested as a potential vice president to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s much discussed potential run for the presidency. However, his wife Corina Villaraigosa's filing for divorce in 2007 concerning his relationship with Telemundo reporter Mirthala Salinas dented his public standing considerably and could provide plenty of ammunition for opponents in any future races given America's expectations of high moral conduct from elected officials.

World Mayor 2023