NEW YORK - Bill Thompson has dropped out of the race for New York mayor, throwing his support behind Democratic front-runner Bill de Blasio and officially avoiding a runoff primary election.

Standing on the steps of City Hall, the former city comptroller caved into to some pressure from influential Democrats who had been encouraging him to bow out and spare the party further division.

In unofficial returns with 99 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio had a little more than the 40 percent threshold needed to win outright.

"It would be my honor to turn to [Thompson] regularly for advice, for council, for leadership," said de Blasio.

De Blasio will now face Republican pick Joe Lhota in November's general election.

To hear Thompson's extended remarks, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.