NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Republican Paul Massey has dropped out of the race for mayor.

“Unfortunately, the cost of running for office is extraordinary, and I do not see a path to raising the necessary funds to beat an incumbent mayor,” Massey said Wednesday.

Paul Massey

Businessman Paul Massey is running for mayor in 2017. (Credit: CBS2)

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the millionaire developer gamely participated in the first debate among Republican mayoral contenders.

“Politicians like Bill de Blasio got New York City into this mess,” he said at the debate. “You need an outsider like me.”

But Massey went on to shock the political establishment by withdrawing from the race, leaving state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis as the sole candidate and sure winner of the Republican nomination.

Malliotakis said Massey’s decision to drop out “clears the field” in the race for her to become the Republican candidate for mayor.

“I am sad that Paul Massey has left the race,” she said. “He is a gentleman and someone who cares a great deal about out [sic] city. I wish him well in the future.”

Massey, who moved from Westchester County to New York City to challenge de Blasio, was at one time regarded by Republicans as an ideal candidate – willing to contribute his own millions, great at raising money as well. So far, he has spent over $5 million.

But much of that money was spent on high-priced consultants, who were unable to help him make much of a mark with voters.

Ahead of the mayoral election, CBS2, WCBS Radio 880, 1010 WINS, the New York Daily News, the New York Immigration Coalition and Common Cause New York are hosting a series of town hall meetings across the five boroughs to hear directly from voters what the important issues and questions are to them.

A town hall meeting is set for tonight in Manhattan at the Schomburg Center. Another one is set for Thursday night in Staten Island. Click here to sign up to attend.

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