Mayor Eric Garcetti will announce in Los Angeles today that he will not run for president in 2020, according to three sources.
Garcetti had been considering a presidential campaign for months and traveled the country raising money for Democrats.
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His advisers declined to comment. He is scheduled to hold a press conference at 8 p.m. Eastern time at City Hall.
Garcetti, a fourth-generation Angeleno of Mexican-Italian-Jewish descent, had been edging toward a presidential run, using the midterm elections to launch a tightly choreographed play where he traveled the country and built up goodwill by raising more than $1 million for state Democratic parties.
But the demands on his time in working to help settle a recent teacher’s strike in his home city put those plans on hold, Garcetti acknowledged to reporters last week at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington.
Several Democratic activists and officials on the ground in Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire told POLITICO that they had heard nothing from the mayor recently about a possible run.
“It’s radio silence,” said one early presidential state Democrat.
No mayor has ever jumped directly from City Hall to the White House, and the prospects of such a feat in 2020 appeared long. But Garcetti had been at the front of a handful of Democratic mayors mulling presidential campaigns. Earlier this month, South Bend (Ind.) Mayor Pete Buttigieg entered the race.
In 2017, Garcetti started a nonprofit group of mayors working with labor and business leaders to fund investments in cities around the country, giving him a platform to travel extensively as he mulled a campaign.
During the midterm elections, Garcetti used his expansive Hollywood donor network to raise money for state parties — including some small, typically overlooked states — hosting fundraisers for them in Los Angeles.
Last year, he hosted a Hollywood fundraiser with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and DJ Khaled that raised more than $1 million, divided among 10 state parties.
The assistance drew praise from state party leaders.
Thanking Garcetti at another, exclusive fundraiser in Los Angeles last year, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson said to applause, “After the mess we’ve got in Washington, we all may need somebody who’s got experience managing a large government and an economy.”
As he mulled a run, Garcetti sought to position himself as an officeholder who is especially grounded in the day-to-day concerns of governing. Contrasting Los Angeles explicitly with Washington in his State of the City address last year, he described the city he oversees as “thriving, strong, stable and decent.”
Still, Garcetti has been dogged by a pervasive homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. Writing in the Los Angeles Times last year, columnist Steve Lopez told readers that with a homelessness crisis in their city, “this could be the year Garcetti’s presidential pipe dream ruptures under a shantytown in the homeless capital of the United States.”