SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A mutual desire to create more affordable housing and housing for the homeless has influenced San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo to break rank with other Bay Area mayors by endorsing former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in the November 2018 Governor's race.
The announcement was made at a dedication ceremony for a new 16-person veterans housing complex in San Jose on Wednesday. The two mayors share ambitious goals to address the housing crisis. Mayor Liccardo is planning to build 25,000 homes (10,000 affordable) in the next five years. Villaraigosa has a plan to build 3.5 million new homes by 2025.
The endorsement might be seen as a blow to frontrunner candidate, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, whom many presumed would have a lock on Bay Area endorsements. Newsom already has the support of the mayors of Oakland, Richmond and Berkeley, as well as the late and the interim mayor of San Francisco.
"I don't think anyone has a lockhold on any part of the state," Villaraigosa responded when ABC7 News asked about Newsom not getting Liccardo's endorsement. "People aren't focused on a selection yet. I don't have a lockhold on Southern California," he added.
Mayor Liccardo said, "We need a real partner in Sacramento, and Antonio Villaraigosa knows how to run a city. He clearly has the experience as a big city mayor in L.A. He has done this. He's proven he has bold leadership, and we need his ideas."
While the election is not until November, candidate forums and individual appearances are underway. The Spanish language network Univision broadcast a forum last week. Four Democrats so far are running for Governor: John Chiang, Delaine Eastin, Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa. Three Republicans are running: Travis Allen, John Cox and Doug Ose. Libertarian Zoltan Istvan is also running.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo endorses former LA mayor for governor