Burgess was one of several high-profile candidates seeking to oust incumbent Mike McGinn as leader of the state's largest city. Among the other people running for mayor are state Sen. Ed Murray, City Councilman Bruce Harrell, former City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck and businessman Charlie Staadecker.
Burgess said in a statement released Friday afternoon that it is "critically important that we elect a new mayor," to replace McGinn.
However, "with so many qualified candidates in the field, my continued candidacy may dilute the chance of achieving the positive change Seattle needs."
He said he will continue to serve on the City Council.