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Former Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa Opts Out Of Senate Bid

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

FILE - In this April 16, 2013 file photo, then Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks before the Sacramento Press Club in Sacramento, Calif.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

(AP) - Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he won't run for Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat.

The announcement quashes a highly anticipated showdown with state Attorney General Kamala Harris. She entered the race Jan. 13 and will now be a prohibitive favorite to win.

Villaraigosa said on Facebook that he knows his heart and family are in California, not Washington, D.C.

He says he's humbled by the encouragement he received to run and he'll continue to fight for issues important to Californians.

Many in the Hispanic community were eager for a Villaraigosa candidacy. He would have been seeking to become the state's first elected Hispanic senator.

There are more than a dozen other potential contenders for Boxer's seat after she announced she will leave the Senate at the end of her term.