Business consultant Marshall Krupp announced Wednesday that he is dropping out of the crowded race for Costa Mesa City Council.
Krupp, 62, said that without the endorsement of the grass-roots residents' group Costa Mesans for Responsible Government (CM4RG), he would only pull critical votes away from candidates with a greater chance of winning one of three open seats and changing the direction of the city. The group is running a trio of candidates opposed to the council's conservative majority.
"The best way I can serve the community now is to step aside," Krupp said. "Strategically, the only way you can defeat the majority [of the council] is to have a slate that shares resources and time …"
Krupp, however, refused to endorse CM4RG's slate: former Mayor Sandy Genis, attorney John Stephens and marketing consultant Harold Weitzberg. He also declined to back the conservative team of Councilmen Gary Monahan and Steve Mensinger and Planning Commissioner Colin McCarthy.
"Choices have consequences," Krupp said. "I don't think either side has the right slate at this point."
He said the group chose not to endorse him because he did not spend enough time at council meetings, was not well known enough in the community and was associated with the Mankind Project, a personal enrichment program with unconventional approaches to leadership training.
Krupp had only raised $50 for his campaign by the end of July — a loan he made to himself — and said that a significant pool of supporters and money awaited him if he got the CM4RG endorsement and decided to stay in the race.
Tamar Goldmann, a CM4RG member, agreed with Krupp's decision to drop out.
"He did the right thing because he said he was going to do it" if he didn't get the group's endorsement, she said. "He would've lost credibility if he stayed in the race."
Since then-Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer was elected to the council in November 2010 and then-Planning Commissioner Mensinger was appointed the following January, the council has taken a hardball tactic with employees and city spending, be it through cutting Costa Mesa's payroll, cutting programs or outsourcing services.
The council currently leans toward a 4-1 split. Righeimer, Monahan, Mensinger and Mayor Eric Bever favor the outsourcing strategy and the proposed city charter. Councilwoman Wendy Leece is the lone dissenting vote.
There are two candidates not on either slate: retired certified public accountant Al Melone and medicinal marijuana advocate Sue Lester.