OAKLAND -- Just a few months ago there were three campaigns to recall Mayor Jean Quan. Now there are none.
The Committee to Recall Mayor Quan Now on Thursday officially ended its bid to unseat the mayor, who is now assured that there will be no recall vote on the November ballot.
"The recall is dead," committee treasurer Len Raphael said Thursday. "The money didn't come through and the costs went up dramatically."
Quan released a statement thanking supporters. "Now we can all work to unify the city around public safety, jobs and our children," she said.
The committee had until Monday to collect nearly 20,000 valid signatures from Oakland voters to trigger a recall vote. Raphael didn't know how many signatures had been collected, but said that it had been clear for some time that the effort would fall short.
Raphael's group was seen as having the best chance of unseating Quan because it aimed to raise money for paid signature gatherers.
But large donations never materialized and the price of professional signature collectors soared when Gov. Jerry Brown decided to put a statewide tax measure on the ballot.
By the end of March, the group had run up debts of more than $26,000, mostly to its attorney, James Sutton. Raphael wouldn't discuss how those debts will be resolved. The group's former campaign consultant, Johnny Wang, said earlier this month that he would forgive the roughly $10,000 owed him.
Raphael said potential donors doing business in Oakland didn't want to risk angering Quan and that others assumed the recall winner wouldn't have much success turning around the city. "When you start thinking that way, why waste a nickel on it?" Raphael said.
Raphael said he froze campaign expenditures months ago when it became clear that big-time donors wouldn't support the effort. He plans to return smaller donations that were made in recent months.
"I have no regrets," he said about the failed campaign. "The only thing I would do differently is not put in several thousand dollars of my own money."
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6345.