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Republican Tom Allon Drops Out of NYC Mayor's Race

Republican Tom Allon Drops Out of NYC Mayor's Race
Allon had switched out of the Democratic Party for his attempt to make it to the 2013 general election ballot.

NEW YORK (AP) - Newspaper publisher Tom Allon gave up his long-shot bid Monday to become New York's mayor, but he said he plans to keep making his political voice heard through the media.

"While no longer a candidate, I will continue to passionately and relentlessly pursue a reform education agenda as an education activist, a columnist and blogger" and as a co-owner of a political news organization, Allon said in a statement.

A former public school teacher who went into journalism, Allon switched out of the Democratic Party for his attempt to make it to the 2013 general election ballot. While registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans in New York, no Democrat has won the mayoral election since David Dinkins in 1989.

But with Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-unaffiliated Mayor Michael Bloomberg facing a term limit this year, the GOP field has become more crowded since Allon began eying the mayoralty in 2011. Republican candidates now include billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis, former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota, and George McDonald, who heads a nonprofit for the homeless.

Meanwhile, former Bronx borough president Adolfo Carrion is unaffiliated but running as the Independence Party's candidate and seeking the Republican nomination.

And there are a roster of Democratic contenders, including City Councilman Sal Albanese, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Comptroller Bill Thompson.

"I entered this race in 2011 to offer the voters of New York City a choice that was different from the career politicians who at the time seemed likely to be the only mayoral candidates in the campaign-to-come, but the equation has changed in the months since," Allon said Monday.

Allon had the backing of the Liberal Party, which said Monday it was disappointed in his decision but understood it. The party is now willing to hear from other candidates interested in its endorsement, Executive Director Martin I. Hassner said.

Allon resigned Monday as CEO of Manhattan Media, which publishes the glossy Avenue magazine and the Hamptons chronicle Dan's Papers, and formerly published several weekly newspapers. Meanwhile, Allon and an investor have bought Manhattan Media's City & State, a political biweekly that produces a daily email digest well-read in political circles. Allon said he was withdrawing from the mayor's race in light of the acquisition.

He had campaigned actively, participating in candidate forums, doing interviews on local television and radio and joining in calls for the city Housing Authority chairman's resignation and opposition to the way public school student data is being used in a state database. In addition to education, his campaign emphasized economic development and reforming city budget practices.

But his bid faced financial challenges: He had raised about $386,000, considerably less than some of his rivals, and his campaign chest was $4,200 in debt as of a filing last week. Lhota, meanwhile, has raised more than $730,000 and Catsimatidis more than $1 million, and the billionaire has said he'll invest "whatever we have to spend" on his campaign "if it's going our direction." Some of the Democratic campaigns have already reported raising millions.

Recent polls had suggested Allon hadn't made much of an impression on voters: two-thirds or more said they didn't know enough about him to form an opinion.