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Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Mayor, To Chair 2012 Democratic National Convention: Source

By By KEN THOMAS 02/14/12 10:59 PM ET AP

Antonio Villaraigosa
First lady Michelle Obama talks with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa chat during an event held to showcase efforts being made to draw grocers to low-income neighborhoods at the future site of a Northgate Market in Inglewood, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

WASHINGTON -- The Democratic Party has picked Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to chair its national convention this summer in Charlotte, N.C.

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, says in an email to DNC members that Villaraigosa will be nominated to chair the September convention.

Chairing the national convention, where Democrats are expected to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term, will place Villaraigosa in a national spotlight. Overseeing the gathering will also place the Latino mayor front and center as Democrats woo Latino support for Obama and other candidates.

Wasserman Schultz tells DNC members that Villaraigosa has empowered people during his career and will encourage engagement from Americans across the country.

Villaraigosa was elected mayor in 2005 and re-elected in 2009.

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Filed by Adam Goldberg  |