For much of my professional career, it has been my privilege to work in and for the city of Long Beach. Serving as the city's mayor, to be able to devote my energies full-time to serve and improve the community that I and my family's love, has been a long-time personal goal.
However, it has become increasingly clear that with my expanding responsibilities with Bank of America, I will need to put my personal aspirations aside for now. After considerable soul-searching and discussion with family and friends, I have decided to withdraw from the 2006 mayoral campaign.
When we launched the campaign in March, I was confident that I could balance the responsibilities of my professional career with the demands of the campaign. However, with my role intensifying and requiring more travel, I simply would not be able to conduct the grassroots campaign we envisioned and still achieve the level of professional performance I and the bank would expect. The bank has been extremely supportive and understanding of my mayoral aspirations. In fact, my role with the bank will provide opportunities to work closely with mayors and other state leaders across California to improve local communities and strengthen our state's economy.
Over the past months, I have been inspired and gratified by the many Long Beach leaders who have extended their support and helped us build a strong campaign. Our collective desire to bring new vision and new leadership to our city remains as strong as ever. While my 2006 mayoral campaign ends today, the spirit of our campaign, to bring the community together to solve our city's most pressing challenges, continues on. In the coming weeks, I will have further discussions with my campaign team to talk about how we can best stay actively involved in the upcoming election and advance the issues we believe are most important to the future of our city.
I am proud of the success that our campaign has achieved in bringing together a diverse group of leaders from across the city - a campaign that we fully expected to win. The departure today from the mayor's race is not a departure from the city. I will continue to be active in the community because Long Beach will always be home for me and my family and we care deeply about the city's future. And, I will continue to speak out on issues that are of most importance to our citizens - making our streets safer, improving our environment, developing job opportunities, empowering our neighborhoods, and creating safe places for our young people to learn and to grow.
Thank you so very much to those who have supported our campaign. Our work to bring new vision and new leadership to our city continues on and our commitment to the city remains forever strong.
Reaction is pending as we post.
Mr. Hernandez kicked off his campaign in March at a news conference outside his ELB home at which he simultaneously announced the endorsement of L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe.
Mr. Hernandez began his LB City Hall career as an aide to former 8th district Councilman Jeff Kellogg. He went on to serve in high ranking capacities with the LB Area Chamber of Commerce before becoming Mayor O'Neill's Chief of Staff (1994-99).
Mr. Hernandez went on to serve as Governor Schwarzenegger's Appointments Secretary, a powerful post overseeing the process by which the Governor appoints individuals to state offices. He's currently Senior Government Relations Executive for Bank of America.
Further to follow as newsworthy.