Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti with then candidate Joe Biden in 2020. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu

Confirming rumors that have circulated for weeks, President Joe Biden nominated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday to become U.S. ambassador to India.

“Today, the President announced that I am his nominee to serve as U.S. ambassador to India. I am honored to accept his nomination to serve in this role,” Garcetti said in a statement. “I love Los Angeles and will always be an Angeleno. I want you to know that every day I am your mayor, I will continue to lead this city like it is my first day on the job, with passion, focus, and determination.

“I have committed my life to service — as an activist, as a teacher, as a naval officer, as a public servant, and if confirmed, next as an ambassador. Part of that commitment means that when your nation calls, you answer that call. And should I be confirmed, I’ll bring this same energy, commitment, and love for this city to my new role and will forge partnerships and connections that will help Los Angeles.”

Garcetti, who has reached his term limit and cannot seek another four years as mayor, is scheduled to leave office in December 2022, but would vacate the position early if confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Rumors began in early May that Biden was considering Garcetti for the position, but the mayor’s office initially said it was speculative and he was focused on guiding the city through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The White House’s announcement Friday cited Garcetti’s responsibilities overseeing the Western Hemisphere’s busiest container port, the Port of Los Angeles; the largest municipal utility in the country, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; one of the busiest airports, Los Angeles International Airport; and his time as chair of the second-busiest transit agency, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The White House also credited him with leading the city’s successful bid to host the 2028 Olympics and co-founding Climate Mayors, a coalition of 400 U.S. mayors that adopted the Paris Climate agreement.

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