Austin Beutner, the 2013 mayoral candidate who formerly served as a deputy mayor and general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, announced Tuesday that he is dropping out of the race.
Beutner in an email sent to his supporters said he was leaving the race "to be engaged with my family in a way which is at odds with the demands of a campaign."
Beutner, 52, thanked his supporters and said all campaign contributions will be returned to donors.
He said the nation's second-largest city will only reach its potential if city leaders rise to its challenges and make the right choices.
"We need to fix our schools because good public education is a civil right and the foundation of our future. We need to create solutions to the problems of traffic, broken streets and sidewalks and the lack of adequate public transportation. We need a city which can live within its means and can effectively provide core services like police and fire," Beutner wrote. "And we need once again to make Los Angeles a city where private sector employers can prosper – creating good paying jobs and providing the tax base to pay for the services the city has to provide."
to discuss his campaign and vision for the city. He also had been blogging on Huffington Post and . His story centered on the fact that he wasn't a career politician and that his accomplishments showed the value of hard work.
Beutner, the child of immigrants, worked in the finance industry in the 1980s and moved into the public sector in the 1990s in the Clinton administration and helped Russia transition into a market economy and decommission nuclear weapons.
He returned to the private sector about the time his wife became pregnant with the first of their four children, who is now a teenager.
Beutner broke his neck a few years ago in a biking accident in the Santa Monica Mountains and changed his focus to helping create for others the opportunities that he had.
He spent 15 months working for the city for a $1 salary with responsibilities ranging from the homeless to the airport and the city's utility.
Loyola Marymount University's Center for the Study of Los Angeles in a recent survey found that among registered voters who had decided on their choice for mayor that only 2 percent picked Beutner. City Controller Wendy Greuel held the lead with 24 percent, followed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky at 23 percent and Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti at 21 percent. (See attached for details.)
Yaroslavsky has not declared his candidacy for the mayor's race.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry and Republican candidate Kevin James also have declared their candidacy to become the city's next mayor.