Update: I received the following quote from Rep Weiner's office...Read original...
"This report did not come from our campaign. Anthony has said he is making up his mind. The campaign will announce a decision when Anthony is ready to."
--Attributed to Marie Ternes, Spokesperson for Anthony Weiner.
One-time Frontrunner to Skip Race Against Bloomberg...Confirming suspicions that have circulated since he informed supporters in April that he would be suspending his campaign, Rep. Anthony Weiner is ending his mayoral aspirations for 2009, according to a source with knowledge of the decision. He will not seek the Democratic nomination for the fall.
Indications began circulating among his circle of advisors and supporters last week, with final word coming on Memorial Day. He plans to inform his finance committee with a conference call late Tuesday night. A press conference to elaborate is planned for Wednesday morning outside of his parents' Brooklyn home.
Weiner's decision comes after weeks of preparing to exit the race and after a packed, campaign-esque schedule on Memorial Day that included honoring a 92-year-old veteran and marching in three parades. Waiting to take his spot in the last, the Little Neck-Douglaston parade, Weiner waved off calls from the crowd urging him to run. And indeed, though people along the route had been showered in Bloomberg for Mayor stickers and brochures and several campaign volunteers were handing out material for Comptroller Bill Thompson, Weiner marched under two simple signs—one his standard “Meet Congressman Anthony Weiner,” and another “Congressman Anthony Weiner salutes our veterans.”
The only mention of campaigning was when he saw two small black and brown daschunds in the crowd.
“Are those weiner dogs?” he said, excitedly coming over to the curb to greet the animals he called “the official dogs of the Weiner campaign.”
But shortly after another potentially perfect campaign moment—joining in to shove the light blue antique car carrying Queens Borough President Helen Marshall out of its stall—Weiner left the festivities behind. Ignoring a woman waving him in to the St. Anastasia’s Roman Catholic School parking lot where all the candidates who had marched were gathering to address the assembled troops and civilians, Weiner greeted a few soldiers at the end of the parade and walked to a waiting car. The aides piled their signs in the trunk, he sat down, and he was gone.
Weiner’s exit leaves just Thompson and Council Member Tony Avella on the Democratic side, competing for the nomination to face Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Speaking Monday before the decision went public, Thompson said he believed that Weiner would have a major impact on the race, had he decided to run.
“Obviously, it’s a huge difference whether you have a primary—a primary with Anthony in it—as opposed to primary with just myself and Tony Avella,” Thompson said.
He acknowledged the logic that a more hotly contested primary might hone him as a candidate going into November and give him more free attention in the media.
“You can look at it that way. That gets everything in order, that your field and messaging are all done early,” he said, though offering the competing argument: “there’s also, do you expend resources? And against Mike Bloomberg, resources are everything.”