Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson has announced he won’t stand for the Auckland Mayoralty this year.
After the surprising success of his speech on the same-sex marriage bill earlier this year, Williamson was touted as a possible opponent to Len Brown in the elections in October.
However, Williamson today said he had decided not to have a tilt at the job.
"Following approaches from many groups and individuals I agreed to consider standing. But after much thought and in-depth analysis, including looking at personal, political, funding and other circumstances, I have decided not to contest the Mayoralty," he said.
"I want to thank the huge number of people who gave me their support and I am sorry if they’re disappointed by my decision."
Williamson's decision means that at this stage no credible opponent to Brown has stepped forward for the October elections.
The announcement from Williamson comes on the day that feedback closes on the draft Auckland Unitary Plan, the new rulebook for the Auckland region. The council will now be considering changes to the plan ahead of possibly formal notification of the plan in September - though recent comments from Brown have suggested notification may not occur before the elections.