Zev Yaroslavsky to retire from politics, won’t run for mayor

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has announced that he will not enter the 2013 L.A. mayoral race, despite having entertained the possibility for many months, and will leave politics altogether once his term with the L.A. Board of Supervisors ends in 2014.

“I have no doubt that, with my expertise and experience, I could help transform L.A.’s fortunes. In the end, however, it is this very length of service that has tipped the scales for me,” Yaroslavsky wrote on his blog on Thursday.

Yaroslavsky, 63, described the decision as “one of the most difficult … of my political life.”

First elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 1975 at age 26 after championing the cause of Soviet Jewry, Yaroslavsky will have been in public office for almost 40 years when his current term ends in December 2014. Afterward, Yaroslavsky said he will “move on to the other things I’ve longed to do outside the political arena.”

Yaroslavsky, an L.A. native, had been considering entering the March 2013 election to succeed L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, but never officially announced his mayoral bid.

Long considered a likely and strong candidate, a Center for the Study of Los Angeles poll released in April showed that Yaroslavsky had as much support as frontrunner candidates L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti and Controller Wendy Gruel.

“Simply put, it’s time for a new generation of leaders to emerge and guide this region into the future,” Yaroslavsky wrote.