Former council member Michael A. Brown surprisingly — and somewhat suddenly — dropped out of the race for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council last night. In a brief statement posted on his Web site, Brown said that “family matters” motivated his decision to pull himself out of the running a mere three weeks before the April 23 special election.

“It is with extreme disappointment that I am announcing my withdrawal from the At-Large Council race. I have some very important personal and family matters that require my immediate attention,” he said, without giving many more details. Various reports have said that his mother is ailing and that he spent time during the campaign tending to her.

Brown launched his campaign in January, shortly after having lost a re-election bid in November to Council member David Grosso (I-At Large). Though his fundraising lagged behind some of his opponents, Brown recently got the most votes in a straw poll held by the Ward 8 Democrats. His campaign also seemed to be ramping up; yesterday his campaign tweeted out images of yard signs being loaded into an SUV for distribution around the city and young supporters released two videos of them doing the Harlem Shake.

[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at]

Martin Austermuhle blogs at DCist . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.