SAN JOSE -- Conservative Councilman Pete Constant on Tuesday dropped out of the crowded field running for mayor of San Jose, all but guaranteeing a Democrat will continue to lead California's third largest city.
Constant, a straight-talking retired police officer, was the only Republican in the nonpartisan race. He faced an uphill battle as only 20.6 percent of voters in San Jose are registered with the GOP.
The termed-out councilman also began the race in a deep financial hole. Just before the window to begin raising funds opened Dec. 5, Constant's father died and he announced he would not begin campaigning until after the New Year. Three of his opponents raced out of the gate, raising between $169,000 to $512,000 each.
The remaining serious candidates vying to replace termed-out Democratic Mayor Chuck Reed are all Democrats: Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen, council members Rose Herrera, Sam Liccardo and Pierluigi Oliverio, and Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese. Ballots go out in less than four months for the June primary, when the field is expected to be narrowed to two finalists heading into the November election.
In a statement, Constant said he would not be endorsing any candidates. His second and final four-year term representing a western edge of San Jose expires at the end of 2014.
"I am looking forward to continuing to serve the constituents of council District 1 and the citizens of San Jose through the remainder of my term," Constant said. "This, along with attending to my family obligations and my continued academic pursuits, will be my focus. Rest assured, my 28 years of public service in San Jose will continue for many years into the future."
Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at twitter.com/RosenbergMerc.