Villaraigosa heading to Utah for Romney event

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Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (AP Photo)

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will spend a few hours hobnobbing Thursday with political and business leaders at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s “Experts and Enthusiasts” retreat in Park City, Utah, then return to Southern California to greet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, all Republicans, are among the other guests slated to attend the event, along with Democrats David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Villaraigosa is scheduled to return to Southern California at 5:20 p.m. to greet Xi at LA/Ontario International Airport. Xi will meet with Obama in Rancho Mirage Friday and Saturday for a discussion centered around cybersecurity.

On Friday, Villaraigosa will host CelebrateLA, an outdoor “block party” at Grand Park that doubles as a farewell bash before he leaves office June 30. Former President Bill Clinton, television host and producer Ryan Seacrest and opera singer Placido Domingo will be among a group of high-profile well-wishers at the event. The free party is open to the public and will feature food trucks and musical performances.

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