Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visits the valley to talk about his candidacy

Judging from the number of visits candidates have been making here, the valley figures to be a key battleground in the race for California Governor.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been a regular visitor to the valley to learn more about our area.

In today's political climate he cites the need to "lower the volume."

Antonio Villaraigosa introduced himself to voters who wanted to know more about his candidacy.

The luncheon at a Tower District restaurant attracted both Democrats and Republicans. Farmers heard where Villaraigosa stands on some water issues.

"I am not for the twin tunnels because I know it divides the North and South," Villaraigosa said.

Recent polls indicate Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom has the most support right now but the field also includes Democrats Delaine Eastin and John Chiang.

Add Republicans Travis Allen and John Cox who was in Fresno last month to drum up support.

Villaraigosa's visit was hosted by the non-partisan Maddy Institute.

Mark Keppler Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler said, "Most likely it's going to be a dem on dem final two runoff for governor. Right now Gavin Newsom's positioning himself on the left and what former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is doing is obviously positioning himself as more as a moderate."

Villaraigosa says it is time to move away from partisanship.

"I don't think people are deplorable because they voted for another candidate. I think we need and I think we need to get the toxicity out of politics. I'm not a screamer," said Villaraigosa.

A crowded field will be whittled down to two in June.

Villaraigosa also stopped in Merced, Madera, Kerman, and Firebaugh Friday.
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