Della said he talked with family members over the weekend and decided that "sometimes family has to come first, and this is one of those times."
Della maintained that lack of support for his campaign was not the reason he pulled out. "I was contacted by a heck of a lot of people from all over the city willing to lend a hand in my campaign," he said.
"I feel if I had stayed in the race I would have either been successful or at least would have raised issues that Mary Pat Clarke would have to address," said Della, referring to the incumbent council president.
The two-term state senator and former city councilman from South Baltimore entered the race July 5, the filing deadline. He reiterated today that he filed in the first place "because it bothered me so that she did not have any opposition."
Della said now that Daki Napata is also in the race, "hopefully he can carry on and do the things I would have liked to do had I stayed in."
Napata, a long-time civic activist, switched from the mayoral race to the council president race just before the 9 p.m. filing deadline.
Clarke won 29 percent of the black vote in her successful race in 1987 and could pull even more black votes this time, observers said. A strong black challenger could have sapped some of her black strength. Napata, who is black, however, is not likely to raise much money and has never run a citywide campaign.