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Villaraigosa Visits Sacramento as Gubernatorial Race Heats Up

SACRAMENTO -- The June primary is fast approaching and the candidates for California governor are out in full force.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visited Sacramento on Monday to pick up two endorsements from law enforcement organizations. The first was the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), the largest law enforcement group in the state, representing 70,000 people working in public safety.

PORAC President Brian Marvel not only touted Villaraigosa's job as mayor but his work as the Democratic leader in the State Assembly.

"We wanted somebody who could cross the aisle, get a coalition of people and make sure public safety is the highest priority," Marvel said.

The second endorsement came from the California Police Chiefs Association.

"I think that he is well prepared, running the most complex city, arguably in the nation, that he is more than anyone else prepared to run California," association President Edward Medrano said.

Part of Villaraigosa's pitch to voters is his work reducing crime in Los Angeles.

"When you reclaim neighborhoods, when you make cities safer, jobs and businesses come to those cities," he said.

But there needs to be funding to do that -- whether it's for hiring more officers, creating task forces to deal with gangs or mental health resources. Villaraigosa even floated the idea of having a cabinet position to focus primarily on public safety.