Los Angeles County sheriff's candidate Lee Baca formally announced his resignation Friday from the department to devote more time to his runoff campaign.
"Resigning my position is the most difficult professional decision I have ever had to make," Baca, a 32-year department veteran, said in a prepared statement.
Baca's plans were disclosed by his campaign earlier this week.
Jorge Flores, Baca's campaign manager, said the candidate was taking an "all or nothing" approach to the general election. Sheriff Sherman Block said it was Baca's prerogative to retire.
Baca, 56, a sheriff's division chief, forced Block into a runoff Tuesday after securing about 32% of the vote to Block's 36%.
"After reflection I decided that leaving the department at this time will give me the time I need to campaign and the freedom to be able to clearly delineate my proposals for a safer Los Angeles County and a more effective Sheriff's Department," Baca said.