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Abel Maldonado drops out of race for governor

Former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado has dropped out of this year’s gubernatorial race.

At a news conference in his hometown of Santa Maria, the Republican said that “after having traveled all over the state and giving it my all, I have concluded that now is not my time.”

“It’s time to step away for a while, and spend more time with my family and stay a little closer to home helping my community, as an active private citizen,” he said. “This by no means suggests that I am giving up, or giving in. I love my country and I love my state. But it’s just time for me, to take a break and focus more of my time on being a fulltime dad and husband.”

Maldonado has been something of a pariah within parts of the GOP, both for striking a budget deal with Democrats while serving in the state Senate and for fathering a successful ballot measure that made the top-two primary system a reality.

Perhaps as a result, Maldonado never had much success in finding financial support for his campaign. He had raised just over $314,000 and had about $44,600 as of June 30, but he also had more than $47,900 in outstanding debts, effectively leaving him in the red; he has raised only about $148,800 since then. Meanwhile, Gov. Jerry Brown had more than $10 million banked by the middle of last year and has raised at least $6.9 million more since.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, remains in the race, and former Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari – also a Republican – is expected to enter the race soon.

UPDATE @ 11:50 A.M.: California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton issued a statement saying Maldonado “saw the writing on the wall and did the smart thing. Governor Brown, and Democratic leaders in the Legislature, delivered on their promises by stopping the cuts to education, balancing the budget and pulling California out of the economic doldrums. Californians are once more discussing investing in our future instead of cutting our way to the bottom.

“It’s no surprise that Republicans are taking a look at the landscape and deciding they don’t have much to run on,” Burton said.

UPDATE @ 2:33 P.M.: Read the more complete story here.

Read Maldonado’s complete comments as prepared, after the jump…
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Kathy Neal drops 18th Assembly District bid

Kathy Neal is halting her 18th Assembly District campaign.

Kathy Neal“I am proud of the progress we made in such a short period of time and greatly appreciate the help, partnerships, and backing that emerged from a widely diverse base of support,” Neal, 62, of Oakland, said in a statement issued early this morning. “While I will not be an active participant in the race at this time, I will continue to be involved in state and local politics, because I am committed to improving the lives of those in our community, especially for those among us who are less fortunate or disenfranchised.”

Although her release said she “entered the race much later than her opposition yet garnered considerable traction,” it seemed she wasn’t keeping up with the other Democrats in the race: Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta; Peralta Community College District Trustee Abel Guillen; and AC Transit Director-at-Large Joel Young.

Neal – the owner of an information technology consulting firm; a former Port of Oakland commissioner; and ex-wife of former Assemblyman and former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris – was trailing far behind all three of them in campaign contributions. And although Neal is a county and state Democratic committeewoman, she trailed behind the others in votes at the party’s local pre-endorsement conference a few weeks ago (though none of them got enough votes to win an endorsement).

Neal noted she has worked to elect other California Democratic women including Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Jackie Speier and Barbara Boxer as well as more local names such as Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, Oakland Councilwoman Desley Brooks and Peralta trustee Linda Handy.

“As women, I have always believed that our voices must be heard and I have worked tirelessly to place strong and effective women in elective office,” Neal said. “While I regret that at this time I am unable to continue my candidacy in the new 18th Assembly District, I look forward to future races where I can play an integral role in ensuring greater representation of women in office.”

She thanked all who have “committed time, energy and resources to my campaign. You are truly remarkable people. Going forward, I will assure that your confidence in me was well placed by continuing the work I have always done for the full, positive and beneficial inclusion of everyone in all that our society has to offer.”