Betty Anne Kane's withdrawal from the mayor's race this week not only changes the political picture for the remaining contestants in that campaign; it also injects new intrigue into the already fascinating dynamics of the D.C. Council elections. Money, it turns out, is the root of all political maneuvering at this stage--and without enough of it, a candidate cannot stay in serious contention for the top office. As Mrs. Kane put it, the color she had trouble with was not black or white, but green; despite an intense and frank appeal for contributions over the last few weeks, the necessary funds didn't materialize.

Whether money begets support or vice versa, the absence of it directs new attention to the candidacies of Mayor Barry and Patricia Roberts Harris. Other candidates--John Ray, Charlene Drew Jarvis and Morris Harper--would argue differently, of course, and with three months to go before the primary, things could turn in someone else's favor. But for now, at least, more and more voters are likely to focus on Mrs. Harris' qualifications and proposals for running the D.C. government, and on how they measure up against the record of Mayor Barry.

In the meantime, Mrs. Kane's vigorous and well- researched interest in local issues will not be lost in this year's campaigning. She has decided to run for re-election as an at-large council member and, if true to past form, she can be expected to add depth and liveliness to the discussion of local issues. Mrs. Kane also has noted candidly that her "dream" of becoming mayor has merely been "deferred."

There is a new dimension, too, to the election for council chairman. Sterling Tucker, who was chairman until he chose to run for mayor last time, has entered what was a two-way race between incumbent Arrington Dixon and council member David Clarke. With three to split the vote--as Mr. Tucker knows only too well--anything can happen. It should not be dull.