Former deputy mayor Austin Beutner is ending his campaign for mayor, he confirmed today to KPCC.
“I’m not going to go away, but I’m going to keep working," Beutner said.
While he declined to give details, Beutner said he expects to play a role in making sure mayoral candidates are asked tough questions.
Quoting Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax," Beutner said, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
"It's kind of telling for Los Angeles," he said.
Beutner's decision to end his mayoral run was prompted by the need to spend more time with his wife and four children, who range in age from 9 to 15, he said.
It was a little more than a year ago that Beutner left his position at City Hall as first deputy mayor and announced his campaign to be the next mayor of Los Angeles. Former Mayor Richard Riordan immediately endorsed him.
Back in January, Beutner split with his consultants Ace Smith and Sean Clegg. At the time, Beutner told The City Maven, “I think Ace and Sean are great, good people, but it’s good you figure these things out well in advance and we just had a different view as to the best way going forward.”
A recent poll from the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University found Beutner polled at just 2.45 percent among registered voters who had made a selection in the mayor’s race. In contrast, Wendy Greuel, Zev Yaroslavsky and Eric Garcetti polled at 24 percent, 23 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Yaroslavsky is not a declared candidate for mayor.
At a January talk to Town Hall Los Angeles, Beutner focused on job creation, often referencing his experience in the private sector. He was made a partner at Blackstone Group at the age of 29, and later co-founded Evercore Partners.
It was his success in the private sector that allowed Beutner to work for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for just $1 a year. Beutner joined the administration in 2010 -- three years after he broke his neck while cycling in the Santa Monica Mountains. He has frequently cited that life event as prompting him to get more involved in civic life.
Despite his personal wealth, Beutner trailed when it came to raising funds for his campaign. The most recent financial report, filed with the city's Ethics Commission, had his campaign at $627,445. In contrast, Councilwoman Jan Perry's mayoral campaign posted about $826,000, and both Greuel and Garcetti came in at more than $1 million.
The primary for the mayor's race will be held in March of next year.
This post has been updated.