Julian Nava, a former U.S. ambassador to Mexico and the first Latino to serve on the Los Angeles Board of Education, is running for mayor of Los Angeles on a platform that will focus on fighting crime and rebuilding the city's job base.
Nava, 65, has been involved in civic life for a quarter of a century. A Democrat, he has been associated with both liberal and conservative causes--as an advocate of school busing in the 1970s and as a supporter of former Police Chief Daryl F. Gates.
"I believe the public will respond very well to a non-professional politician as mayor," Nava said, emphasizing that he has no political ambitions beyond the mayor's office.
Nava became the first Latino to enter the mayoral race, which includes about a dozen potential candidates. Others who are running or are considering whether to run include City Council members Mike Woo, Nate Holden and Joel Wachs, as well as state Assemblyman Richard Katz. Supervisor Gloria Molina said she would decide this month whether she will run to succeed Tom Bradley, who plans to retire.