* Los Angeles Times: "Austin Beutner dropping out of mayor's race, friends say" - From the LAT:
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.
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.
***[UPDATED: 2:OO p.m.]:
*Los Angeles Times: "Austin Beutner confirms his exit from L.A. mayor's race" - From the LAT:
Beutner, a one-time economic advisor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was seen by many as a business community alternative in a political landscape where public employee and service unions hold enormous sway. Observers say his departure could encourage another wealthy business and civic leader, mall developer Rick Caruso, to jump into the race. . . . . .
Beutner said he hopes to stay involved in the race and plans eventually to endorse a candidate, although he does not yet know who. The front-runners so far include City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry. Former talk radio host Kevin James is also campaigning, and County Supervisor Zev Yarolslavsky is weighing a run.