Hollywood Fixture Antonio Villaraigosa Pummeled in California Governor’s Race

Antonio Villaraigosa (Credit: antonioforcalifornia.com)

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was a fixture at movie premieres, award shows and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, took a beating Tuesday in the race to become California’s next governor.

Once the polls closed, the news was not good for Villaraigosa, who served as L.A. mayor from 2005 to 2013.

The Democratic politician came in third place with just 13 percent of the vote, and failed to secure a spot in the November general election, according to the California secretary of state’s election website.

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Fellow Democrat, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, led the pack with 33 percent of the vote, while Republican businessman John Cox clinched second place with 26 percent.

There were 27 candidates in the race. But Villaraigosa and Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, had the most name recognition.

Villaraigosa helped honor Ringo Starr on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010. (Credit: Deposit Photos)
Villaraigosa helped honor Ringo Starr on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010. (Credit: Deposit Photos)

In a late-night concession speech, Villaraigosa urged supporters to back his Democratic opponent.

“I’m asking you to get behind Gavin Newsom,” he said. “I’m asking you to stand up and pressure every one of us – Democrat and Republican alike – pressure every one of us to stand up for you, to fight for you, not just for ourselves, but for all of us for an America and a California where every one of us are growing together.”

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Earlier in the evening, Villaraigosa asked election officials to extend voting until Friday, after a snafu accidentally left 118,000 voters off the rolls in Los Angeles County.

Both Newsom and Villaraigosa had their share of past scandals, including extra-marital affairs.

In 2011, Villaraigosa also agreed to pay a $42,000 fine for state ethics violations, after the California Fair Political Practices Commission cited him for failing to report free tickets to sports and entertainment events including the Academy Awards, a Spice Girls concert and an American Idol finale.

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