Austin Beutner, the businessman-turned-jobs czar, dropped out of the L.A. Mayor’s race on Tuesday.

In a letter to supporters on his web site, Beutner – who gave up a career in private equity to serve in the administration of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – said the rigors of a campaign would take too much time away from his family.

“While everything I’ve learned exploring the possibility has reinforced my view of how much our city needs leadership who will solve problems, it has also reminded me of my responsibilities as a husband and father,” Beutner said in the letter.

In a subsequent interview, Beutner said he wanted to spend more time with his wife and children, who are ages 9 and 15. “You start to look back and you realize you have missed too many events with your children. I don’t want that to happen.”

Beutner added that he wanted to spend time on other in initiatives, including one he launched last month to provide free eyeglasses to elementary school children in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Beutner, who was polling in the single digits and trailing much of the rest of the field, faced an uphill battle in the 2013 mayor’s race. He had never run for public office and had no natural base among L.A.’s electorate.

Still in the race to replace Villaraigosa as mayor are councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry, City Controller Wendy Greuel and talk show host Kevin James. Shopping mall magnate Rick Caruso and L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky are also considered possible candidates, though neither has declared their intention to run.

Beutner said he has not yet decided to endorse any of the other candidates.

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