Villaraigosa's made a decision on California governor race, but he's not sharing it

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Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been up and down California as part of a 38-day listening tour. His outreach lays a foundation for a run for governor, right?

Well, he's not exactly revealing the answer.

Antonio Villaraigosa’s name comes up time and again in pundits’  lists of likely candidates to fill Governor Jerry Brown’s seat come 2018.

The former mayor has been hopscotching around the question of whether he’s running for governor. He'll only tell KPCC he’s made a decision.

"[It's] pretty clear about what we’re going to do, but I’m not making any announcements," he said. "I’ll make them at the appropriate time when it makes sense. But, yeah, I made a decision a long time ago."

For now, Villaraigosa said he’s focused on helping Democrat Hillary Clinton get elected and keeping Republican Donald Trump out of the White House. He criticized Trump for demonizing Mexicans.

"I've never seen a candidate like Donald Trump, who's not fit for office, who clearly is not ready to be commander in chief," he said. 

On Wednesday, he spoke at the California State University, San Bernardino, reviving his call for educational reform, which he pushed during his tenure as Los Angeles mayor.

Saying education is the “only real path out of poverty” for millions of young people, Villaraigosa issued a plan calling for early learning, recruitment of more teachers of color, and more "enlightened" discipline policies.

During his listening tour, Villaraigosa said he was struck by the large number of working people he met who are struggling economically.

"[They have] concerns about the future, not just their own, but the future of their children," he said. "While some parts of the state are doing really well, there are many parts that are being left behind."

Villaraigosa said he spent 17 days in the Central Valley and visited places like San Diego and the Bay Area.

"I do think it's important that as you seek another stint in public service that you know what people are feeling, what they're thinking, what they're concerned about," he said. 

As for who else is running for governor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is already in the race, and other big names like state treasurer John Chiang and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer are possible candidates. 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story mistakenly reported former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke at California State University, San Bernardino, on Thursday. The talk was given on Wednesday.

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