Bill Bloomfield, the Manhattan Beach businessman and philanthropist who mounted a strong challenge to Rep. Henry A. Waxman two years ago, said Monday he has decided against running for the seat this year.
In a statement issued Monday morning, Bloomfield, an independent, said he and his wife, Susan, "have concluded that running for the 33rd Congressional seat at this time would not be the best use of our time and resources to truly drive meaningful change on critical issues, particularly our passion for public education."
Bloomfield's announcement further narrows the potential field to succeed Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), who announced on Jan. 30 that he would retire after four decades in Congress.
The announcement set off a flurry of interest from potential successors, especially among Democrats, who dominate the Westside-South Bay district. But within a week or so, several would-be competitors for the rare open congressional seat had decided not to jump in.
Also Monday, the day filing opened, the first Republican entered the race. He is Elan S. Carr, a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County who specializes in gang prosecutions. Carr, a first-time candidate, lives with his wife and two daughters in Los Angeles.
Bloomfield's decision leaves two other independents and several Democrats in the race. The candidates with no party preference are author-spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson and TV director-producer Brent Roske. Both entered the race long before Waxman's surprise announcement.
Best known among the Democrats are state Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance and former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel.