Candidate David Soknacki announced he’s dropping out of the Toronto mayoral race in a statement released Tuesday night.

“Today, I received confirmation of what I suspected for days: while my support is growing, it simply is not growing quickly enough to make any positive difference to the outcome on Election Day, especially given the challenges I’ve faced as a candidate,” Soknacki wrote in the statement.

Soknacki spoke to CTV Toronto after the statement was issued at his 60th birthday party. He said he wanted to let his volunteers know he was stepping out of the race.

“I wanted to share with them the reasons and give them a chance to express their thoughts on the campaign,” Soknacki said.

“Our campaign was positive. We tried to look at what we wanted for this great city. We were very careful not to slam anyone, to stick to the facts. That was important to all of us in the campaign,” he said.

Soknacki said he thought it would be a great night to share some company, have some cake and then to “turn a page and move on.”

Soknacki said in the statement a staffer will withdraw his name form the ballot of the 2014 mayoral race on Wednesday.

John Tory, Olivia Chow and Rob Ford shared their reaction to the news following Tuesday night’s mayoral debate.

“He’s the kind of person you can have a conversation with. He’s a very thoughtful person and made very thoughtful contribution to the debate even if we didn’t agree,” Tory told reporters.

“I will miss David’s contributions. He and I worked together very well in the budget committee. I’m going to miss him in the campaign,” Chow said.

“I want to thank David Soknacki. I’ve known him for a long time. I just wish him all the best in the future,” Ford said.

Ford said he doesn’t agree with Soknacki’s politics but “outside of that, he’s a nice guy.”

Soknacki did not attend the debate, saying he was holding a party for his 60th birthday with his supporters.

Soknacki will be speaking to the media at city hall at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.