NEW YORK - Another potential rival to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has withdrawn from the race, citing the billionaire mayor's spending potential as a reason for not seeking the Democratic nomination this year.
U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner announced in an op-ed article in The New York Times on Wednesday that he would stay in Congress, which could leave Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson, the city controller, as the only major opponent to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg engineered a change in city election law to allow him to seek a third term this year, when he will run as a political independent.
The longtime Democrat switched parties to run as a Republican in 2001 and 2005, spending millions of dollars of his own money each time, and then dropped party affiliation.
Bloomberg has already spent at least $18 million of his own money on television ads, direct mailings and staff salaries ahead of the November general election.
"The mayor is expected to spend $80 million of his own money in the race, more than 20 times what candidates who have not opted out of the city's public campaign finance program ... can spend in a primary," Weiner wrote.
"The sad truth for a political candidate without deep pockets is that while money isn't the only thing, it does matter," Weiner wrote.
A week ago, supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis ended his bid for the Republican nomination, reducing Bloomberg's competition on the right.
Although Bloomberg has dropped his Republican affiliation, the Republican Party has given him its blessing to run on its ticket and no one else has challenged him for the Republican candidacy.
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