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Tom Allon Drops Mayoral Bid

By  Stefanie DeAngelo and Jill Colvin | March 18, 2013 2:25pm | Updated on March 18, 2013 3:45pm

 Tom Allon.
Tom Allon.
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NEW YORK CITY — Newspaper publisher and long-shot mayoral hopeful Tom Allon on Monday dropped his bid to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Allon, the former president and CEO of Manhattan Media, which publishes community newspapers in the city, had recently switched his party registration and was seeking the Republican nomination. He struggled in a crowded field that included grocery mogul John Catsimatidis and former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, and he had a hard time raising money.

During the latest campaign fundraising period, Allon managed to raise only $26,635, and he had just $4,200 cash on hand.

"Really, the major prompt was I had a business opportunity I couldn't pass up," Allon said in an interview Monday, explaining that, with three teenage kids to put through college, it was time to focus on his family and his finances.

Allon also announced Monday that he was acquiring City & State, a weekly political newspaper and website that publishes the popular "First Read" morning newsletter. 

Allon previously owned a small share of City & State, which was part of Manhattan Media, and ran the paper as the CEO and publisher.

During his campaign, Allon had worried about the journalistic integrity of the paper, noting that it was tricky to balance his candidacy with the paper's mission to cover politics objectively.

"I've already burdened the journalists at City & State and the rest of my company for over a year [by] being a candidate," Allon said. "I had to make a clean break...to ensure that the integrity of City & State is pure."

While Allon acknowledged that he was disappointed in his showing in the mayoral contest, he noted that more than 800 people had nonetheless contributed to his campaign.

"That's pretty good for somebody who came out of nowhere and wasn't doing it full-time," he said, leaving the door open to another potential run four or eight years down the line.

"I certainly got the rookie mistakes out of my system," he said. "Public service will have to wait."

Allon, a former public school teacher, entered the race in 2011 on an education reform platform, vowing to fix what he called “the city’s crumbling education system.”

While he was always considered a long-shot, he had become a prominent voice on the election's early candidate forum circuit, pressing education issues and earning laughs from audience members with his well-delivered zingers.