LOS ANGELES — Two-term Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ended months of speculation Tuesday evening about his 2020 intentions by announcing he won't enter the ever-growing field of Democratic presidential candidates.
Garcetti, 47, had openly acknowledged he was considering a presidential run and over the past year had visited several early primary states, including New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina. He also formed a political action committee that raised more than $2 million last year to help flip congressional seats in several states.
"I've decided not to throw my hat into the ring for president in 2020," Garcetti said during a press conference at City Hall. "This was not an easy decision given the extraordinary times that we live in."
Added Garcetti, "As an American, like so many of us, we look to Washington for our better angels. We look to a government that would be kind and caring. But today we see one that is corrupt and cruel. Worst of all, they can't seem to get anything done."
Garcetti's decision to not run in 2020 follows Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California jumping into the contest for the White House on Jan. 21. Other Democrats have also entered the race for the party's presidential nomination, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
The field also includes Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering entering the race. Another contender is Julian Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio who served in the Obama administration as secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
"I feel even more secure in my decision watching the field of candidates who are jumping into the race in 2020," Garcetti said. He called them "friends, colleagues, even fellow mayors."
As mayor of the nation's second biggest city, Garcetti has been credited with reducing business taxes, lifting the city's minimum wage to $15 per hour, and pushing for a major expansion of public transportation. But critics complain that he hasn't done more to alleviate the city's affordable housing and homelessness crisis.
One recent achievement was the mayor this month mediating a resolution to the LA teachers strike.
Garcetti has been mayor of the city since 2013 and was reelected to his second term in 2017 by a wide margin. Prior to that, he served on the LA City Council. His second mayoral term runs until 2022.