villaraigosaDemocrat Jerry Brown, finding himself in an unexpected tug-of-war over Latino voters with Republican Meg Whitman in the California governor’s race, this week gathered more than a dozen top Latino lawmakers and officials to his side to demonstrate their solidarity with his campaign.

Among them were state senators and assembly members, local officials and even U.S. Congressoman Xavier Becerra, who traveled all the way from Washington, D.C. to show his support for Brown during the campaign stop at California State University, Los Angeles, organizers said.

But missing was one of  the nation’s best-known Latino politician, whose office is just a few miles down the freeway: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — who campaigned so hard for Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary that some wags wondered if he had enough time left over to run America’s second-largest city.

The high-profile mayor’s absence begs the question: Was Villaraigosa not invited by Brown? Did Villaraigosa snub him?

The mayor’s office assures us that neither is the case, saying it was simply a “scheduling conflict” and pointing out that Villaraigosa had endorsed Brown, the state’s attorney general who served as California governor from 1975 to 1983, and had made remarks supporting him at the California Democratic Conventi0n in April.Jerry