SACRAMENTO, Calif. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said on Wednesday he had formed a political action committee and started raising money to help fight Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign in key states with large Latino immigrant populations.
“I’m focusing all my efforts from now to November on stopping Trump,” Villaraigosa said in a conference call with reporters.
Calling Trump a racist and misogynist, Villaraigosa said his committee, called Building Bridges, Not Walls, would focus on organizing immigrants to oppose the presumptive Republican nominee in California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida in the campaign for the Nov. 8 election.
Opened with his own $1,000 contribution, the committee would seek donations to pay for its activities, Villaraigosa said.
Villaraigosa, a Democrat who was Los Angeles mayor from 2005 to 2013 and also served as speaker of the California Assembly, is perhaps the state’s highest-profile Latino leader. He has said he is considering a run for governor in 2018.
His anti-Trump campaign is among the first efforts to formally turn concern among immigrants about the billionaire’s campaign into political action. Last week, Democrats in San Diego organized an anti-Trump demonstration that drew about 400 people.
Trump has made concern over illegal immigration a centerpiece of his campaign. He has accused the Mexican government of sending rapists and criminals across the border, pledged to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and called for a temporary halt to Muslim immigration amid fears that radicalized immigrants will commit terrorist acts.
Last week in the border city of San Diego, Trump called a judge hearing a case against one of his businesses “hostile” and “a hater” and said he believed the judge was Mexican.
“Both Democrats and Republicans are horrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency,” Villaraigosa said.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Peter Cooney)