Word got out this morning that Austin Beutner was telling friends and supporters that his quest to become mayor of Los Angeles next year was over. Mark Lacter had an item earlier at LA Biz Observed. While Beutner doesn't really have much support to release, he did have the endorsement of former mayor Richard Riordan and a smattering of business people who may wish to align with another candidate. It also probably ramps up the speculation about Rick Caruso possibly getting in the 2013 race. News account cite the health of Beutner's father in his decision to drop out.
Here's Beutner's statement this afternoon.
I have decided to withdraw from the Los Angeles Mayoral Race. While everything I’ve learned exploring the possibility has reinforced my view of how much our city needs leadership who will solve problems, it has also reminded me of my responsibilities as a husband and father. My family has been my biggest supporter in this effort, but my own needs at this time are for me to be engaged with my family in a way which is at odds with the demands of a campaign.
I am grateful to you and the many other people who have supported this effort with your thoughts, efforts and resources. It has been a privilege to work with old friends and make so many new ones. I owe a special thanks to those who made an effort to ask their friends, colleagues and neighbors to engage with us. We will return all of the money contributed to our campaign and hope you feel your time has made a difference. Together, we raised the dialogue and started a real conversation in Los Angeles about the need to do things differently.
Our city is a special place – blessed with diversity and many unique neighborhoods which together make one of the greatest cities in the world, America’s window to Asia and Latin America. Los Angeles has a bright future because of the wonderful people who have chosen to call it home, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to have met with so many of them and share ideas on how we can work together to make things better.
Los Angeles will only realize its potential if city leaders face up to the 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. 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.
I intend to keep working to make a difference in our community. We can’t settle for the same old promises only to find nothing gets done. We face tough choices ahead and we’ll need elected leadership who will make the right ones.
Real change in Los Angeles is only going to happen if you stay engaged. In the words of the great philosopher, the Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Thank you for your support and engagement.
Beutner didn't endorse anyone in the race, as you can see. Controller Wendy Greuel, however, put out a statement thanking Beutner for his service.
I want to thank Austin Beutner for his service to our city as First Deputy Mayor and for raising many significant issues as a candidate for Mayor. Austin was a leading voice for more focus on economic development and job growth, helping streamline the permit process and having a lasting impact on how LA attracts and retains businesses. He helped shine a light on the city bureaucracy, uncovering problems and calling for greater transparency. Austin was willing to speak out when he saw waste and inefficiency in government, no matter whose feathers might be ruffled. I wish Austin the best as he moves on to other pursuits. I know he will continue to make important contributions to LA in the years to come.
* Added: Statement from Councilman Eric Garcetti:
Through his non-profit work, his public service and his candidacy, Austin has elevated the debate around jobs, reform and the need to move every Los Angeles community forward. I know he will continue to contribute a strong voice to the civic discussion and I wish him and his family the best.
And from candidate Kevin James:
I commend Austin Beutner for his work in being part of the solution at City Hall while others are merely contributing to the problems. Austin's focus on job creation has been important to the City. We shared a mutual disgust for business as usual in City Hall and I will work as hard as I can to carry on our similar sentiments to make Los Angeles great again. I also want to wish Austin the best in his future endeavors and a speedy recovery to his father.
Previously on LA Observed:
Beutner's money pipeline appears to be clogged
Top Beutner advisers quit his campaign
Mayoral candidate Austin Beutner talks jobs
Riordan to endorse Beutner for mayor
Beutner's first press release as a candidate
Beutner files papers, quits, gets profile in Los Angeles magazine