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Noah Gotbaum Drops Out of Public Advocates Race to Run for City Council

By Jill Colvin | March 1, 2013 1:07pm

UPPER WEST SIDE — Education advocate Noah Gotbaum has dropped out of the Public Advocate's race to run for City Council instead.

"Very simple —it's the right thing for my family," Gotbaum told DNAinfo.com New York after announcing the news to his supporters Thursday.

"I’ve been spending time in the five boroughs and I realized the work I did in the district and at home is significant. And I realized I can continue to do that and can have a leadership role in the council," said Gotbaum.

"The energy I have is invested here, invested in my kids, invested in this neighborhood," he said.

The public school parent, whose platform had focused on education issues, had faced a tough field of opponents, including State Sen. Daniel Squadron, City Councilwoman Letitia James, Cathy Guerriero and former Deputy Public Advocate Reshma Saujani.

In addition to sluggish fundraising, his campaign had faced an embarrassment when Gotbaum's stepmother, former Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, decided to endorse Squadron.

Gotbaum will now enter an equally crowded race to replace term-limited City Councilwoman Gale Brewer. The candidates for the 6th District seat include Community Board 7 member Helen Rosenthal, Russian Tea Room vice president Ken Biberaj, attorney Marc Landis, and Mel Wymore, another CB7 member who would be the city's first transgender council member.

Gotbaum said that, this time around, his campaign has the full support of Betsy Gotbaum and thinks he had a good shot to win.

"She's wholeheartedly behind me here," he said.

The remaining candidates faced off at a forum sponsored by the Community Free Democrats on the Upper West Side on Thursday night.

With reporting by Emily Frost