Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa likes to visit the Central Valley — again, again and again, as he says.

This past week, the former Los Angeles mayor made two stops to Fresno and the surrounding area. He even picked up the endorsement of California Citrus Mutual, the non-profit trade association that represents 75% of California’s 270,000 acre, $3.3 billion citrus industry.

But recent polls show that Villaraigosa has more work to do. A University of California/IGS survey has him in fourth place, behind front-runner Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and two Republican candidates —John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen.

Where Villaraigosa Stands

Take 5 caught up with Villaraigosa recently in Clovis, where his answers to the same set of questions differed dramatically from his GOP opponents to the right.

Villaraigosa answered questions about:

— His support of the gas tax (SB 1).

— Why he’s not concerned about what the poll numbers say today.

—  How he differs from Newsom.

— The controversial tweets of Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar.

— What the state should do with its budget surplus.

The next big debate is Tuesday (May 8) in San Jose. Newsom, who has skipped the last month of debating, is scheduled to participate.

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