After a monthlong candidacy, Chattanooga mayoral candidate Rob Healy announced he is dropping out of the race.
Healy, a 61-year-old businessman and former city Parks and Recreation Department director, issued a news release Friday saying he had arrived at his decision after "much discussion with family, friends and political advisers."
The candidate said that despite his desire to serve the city, he had concluded that his prospects for winning were slim.
Healy said that campaign fundraising was a driving factor in his decision.
"After my research, I have concluded my candidacy presently lacks the support necessary to win this election," Healy said. "Unfortunately, in our current political climate, money is the pivotal resource necessary to being elected to any public office. I find this to be a sad reality."
Healy, who had yet to file a campaign finance report with the Hamilton County Election Commission for this election cycle, would have faced at least two candidates in next year's election—former city transportation Director Guy Satterfield and outgoing state Sen. Andy Berke.
Of the two candidates, Berke has shown fundraising clout well in advance of election season and has additional resources to draw on from his campaigns for state Senate. As of July, Berke's campaign finance records showed more than $262,000 cash-on-hand, with an additional $117,000 in his state Senate account, which could be transferred if necessary.
Satterfield has no campaign finance records that are currently on file with the Hamilton County Election Commission.
In his statement, Healy added that he would like to see future reforms made to the campaign finance system.
"As I look at the staggering amount of money spent on political campaigns at all levels of government, I see so many other needs in our community, our state and our country that could be better-served by these expenditures," he said. "It is my hope that public support for campaign reform will grow and this situation will someday be changed."
Candidates for municipal elections have until Dec. 20 to pick up petitions and qualify with the Election Commission. The next deadline for the release of campaign finance records for candidates will be in February.
The election is March 5.
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