Long Beach mayor will not seek reelection to Metro board

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced he would not seek re-election to the board that governs Metro, which he lobbied to be part of three years ago.

Garcia’s four-year term is up early next year.

“I really love the work, but I have some other opportunities ahead that I would like to pursue,” Garcia stated in a Dec. 10 letter to the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, but did not elaborate on what those opportunities are.

The news was first reported by Streetsblog LA.

Garcia’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

There is wide speculation that Garcia will be moving on from Long Beach to either a state or federal position after the election of President-Elect Joe Biden, whom Garcia campaigned for and has since served as a surrogate in state and national media.

The Metro board is made up of 13 members and guides the agency’s priorities, projects and activities, including Measure M funds, a tax approved by voters in 2016 to fund county infrastructure related to transportation. While on the board, Garcia pushed for the rehabilitation of the Metro A Line, formerly the Blue Line, which connects Downtown Long Beach to LA.

In his letter to the council, Garcia noted that 9th District Councilman Rex Richardson’s recent election to the South Coast Air Quality Management District board ensures Long Beach still has a seat at the table as a regional leader.

“[Richardson’s] election yesterday has changed my thinking on Long Beach’s role on the Metro Board,” Garcia wrote. “While it was my intention to run for re-election to the Metro Board … I’m going to give another leader an opportunity to represent us at Metro.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated the announcement was made Monday and that Garcia endorsed another mayor for the board.

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Brandon Richardson is a business reporter, covering everything from real estate and healthcare to the airport and port to city hall and the economy. He is a Long Beach native who has been with the Business Journal since graduating from Long Beach City College in spring 2016 with an associate’s degree in journalism. He is an avid record collector and concert goer.
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