Claude Ezran, an early entrant to Palo Alto's suddenly crowded City Council race, said Tuesday that he has decided not to run.
Ezran, a former member of the city's Human Relations Commission and the founder of the city's World Music Day, was the first non-incumbent to declare his entry into the race for five contested seats. Since then, eight other candidates have jumped into the race, joining three incumbents: Mayor Nancy Shepherd, Greg Scharff and Karen Holman. Though Holman has yet to formally declare her candidacy, she has already filed a statement of intention to seek another term and has formed an election committee. Shepherd and Scharff have both said they will seek a second term.
The other two council members whose terms will expire this year are Larry Klein, who is termed out, and Gail Price, who has opted not to run for a second term.
In an email, Ezran cited the "new competitive landscape" as his reason for not running. In addition to the three incumbents, the November ballot will also include three candidates closely aligned with last year's successful Measure D referendum: Eric Filseth, Tom DuBois and Lydia Kou.
Ezran determined that running against three incumbents, "with the abundance of campaign volunteers, funding, endorsements, and support that incumbency usually provides" and against candidates linked with the Measure D defeat would have been "a close to impossible task for an independent candidate like myself."
While Ezran dropped out of the race, resident Wayne Douglass has jumped in, keeping the total number of candidates at 12. Douglass, who lives in the Ventura neighborhood, pulled papers for candidacy Tuesday, City Clerk Donna Grider said.
Other residents who have pulled candidacy papers and are considering a council run are retired Gunn High School teacher John Fredrich, panhandler Victor Frost, retired Boeing engineer Seelam Reddy, concert producer Mark Weiss and downtown resident Richard Wendorf.
Candidates have until Aug. 8 to file their paperwork, though there is a five-day extension for races where incumbents don't file.