Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been chosen by the Democratic Party to chair the national convention this summer in Charlotte, North Carolina. Democrats hope that by choosing the Mexican American Mayor as chair Latinos will be encouraged to lend their support to Barack Obama, who the Democrats are expected to nominate for re-election, and other party candidates.
Villaraigosa has spent his fair share of time in the media since being elected in 2005 and subsequently re-elected in 2009, according to Fox News Latino. He is Los Angeles’ first Latino mayor in over 130 years and only 3rd overall. Villaraigosa’s face has adorned the covers of Newsweek and Time as one of the top 25 most influential Latinos in the United States. In addition to these successes he has also been a member of Obama’s Transition Economic Advisory Board and in 2008 co-chaired Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign.
As one might expect from a politician, Villaraigosa’s time in office has not been void of controversy. It was announced in 2007 that the Mayor and his wife Corina would be separating following an affair he had with Spanish language television reporter Mirthala Salinas. Villaraigosa had reportedly cheated before during his wife’s battle with thyroid cancer according to a New Yorker interview in 1994.