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MASIELLO TO PULL OUT OF RACE FOR MAYOR FOLLOWS WITHDRAWAL BY WHELAN

State Sen. Anthony M. Masiello will withdraw today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for mayor, the second contender to drop out of the race this week.

Masiello has scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference in front of the Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building, 65 Court St., to announce his decision.

City Comptroller Robert E. Whelan, a Democrat, withdrew from the mayoral race Tuesday and announced he will support Assemblyman William B. Hoyt, who has been endorsed by the Democratic and Liberal parties.

An aide said Masiello will not endorse another candidate at today's news conference, as had been expected.

Masiello's exit from the contest will leave just three candidates -- Hoyt, Mayor Griffin and Wilbur P. Trammell, who resigned as chief judge of City Court to run for mayor.

Griffin has the endorsement of the Conservative Party for a fourth, four-year term and will be designated Wednesday as the Republican candidate. In addition, Griffin expects to be endorsed by the Right to Life Party and to file in the Democratic primary.

Trammell plans to file as an independent in the Democratic primary.

There had been widespread speculation that Masiello would couple his withdrawal announcement today with an endorsement of Hoyt.

Hoyt is in California visiting a daughter and is not scheduled to return to Buffalo until Sunday.

The aide to Masiello said the senator has made no decision on whether to endorse a mayoral candidate. "He can remain neutral and support the winner of the Democratic primary," the aide said. "Or he can endorse one of the three candidates. That's a decision he will make later."

Masiello formally announced as a candidate for mayor Feb. 3 and was the early favorite to win the Democratic organization endorsement.

However, the county Democratic Executive Committee, in what was regarded as an upset, voted March 4 to endorse Hoyt on the fourth ballot.

After that setback, Masiello reassessed his candidacy, then announced on March 29 that he would stay in the race.

Soures said then that Masiello wanted to wait until the Liberal Party, whose support he had sought, made its choice, and wanted to be certain of Griffin's intentions. The Liberal Party endorsed Hoyt May 15, and Griffin formally announced his re-election bid Monday.

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