As he gets ready to leave the mayor's post in Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa is making clear that he's got his sights on becoming governor of California - at least someday.
Villaraigosa, a fixture on TV last summer as he presided over the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, was not coy when discussing his political future Tuesday with KPCC radio.
"You mentioned governor. Look I believe in public service. I want to run for governor. In fact, I fully expect that I will, " Villaraigosa told KPCC's Larry Mantle. "I'm going to tell you something. I will never have a job like this. This city has given me more than I could ever hoped for."
Villaraigosa is the first Latino mayor in Los Angeles in more than 130 years. Eric Garcetti will be sworn in July 1 to succeed Villaraigosa, who was prevented by term limits from running for a third term.
California Gov. Jerry Brown, also a Democrat, is up for re-election next year and his job-approval ratings are the highest they've been since he was elected in 2010. But Brown hasn't said whether he's running again and political observers in Sacramento believe Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Kamala Harris would also like to run for governor.
Villaraigosa told ABC News in April that he was planning to join the private sector, maybe make a few speeches and write a book, when his term ends at the end of this month -- so it's not clear if he plans to challenge Brown if the governor runs again.