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Austin Beutner dropping out of L.A. mayor's race, friends say

May 8, 2012 | 11:57 am

Austin Beutner

Austin Beutner, the wealthy former investment banker who sought to position himself as a City Hall outsider in his campaign for Los Angeles mayor, is dropping out of the race, friends say.

Former Mayor Richard Riordan, who last year endorsed Beutner for the 2013 mayoral contest, said Beutner called him to share the news Tuesday morning. Riordan said Beutner told him he wanted to spend more time with his family, including his father, who is ill.

Calls to Beutner and his campaign team were not immediately returned Tuesday. Another friend of Beutner's who did not want to be named said Beutner plans to announce the news Tuesday afternoon.

Beutner, who served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's "economic czar" before launching his campaign, has struggled to introduce himself to voters, even as he has taken public shots at City Hall and other mayoral candidates -- Controller Wendy Greuel and City Council members Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti -- who work there. During an economic policy speech in January, Beutner called City Hall a "barnyard."

A recent poll by the Center for the Study of Los Angeles showed that only 2% of voters who had an opinion on the race would vote for Beutner.


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Photo: Austin Beutner mingling with the audience after speaking at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in January. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times