The leading challenger to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's reelection for DFL endorsement said Wednesday that he's suspending his campaign for an indefinite period due to the hospitalization of two family members.

Bob Miller said he made the decision after his elderly mother was hospitalized for more than a month recently and his wife was hospitalized for about 10 days.

"The health of my wife and mother and family stuff is a lot more important to me," said Miller, who heads the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program. He said he probably could have dealt with one hospitalization and kept campaigning. But with two, he said, "Frankly, it's just a little bit more than I can take on in an effective way."

Miller said he didn't know whether he would be able to return to campaigning before the city DFL convention on May 16 bestows an endorsement. But he said it's unlikely he'd challenge Rybak if the mayor gets the party's endorsement for the first time in his career.

No other candidate has announced plans to seek the DFL endorsement, although several lesser-known candidates have said they'll run in the November general election.

Miller said that his mother, Mildred Miller, 89, a Powderhorn neighborhood resident, had two heart attacks and spent more than a week in a coma. His wife, Cindy Miller, 59, of Edina, has dealt with multiple sclerosis for years and was in intensive care for an infection.

Miller's campaign attempted to build on discontent toward City Hall among those who opposed recently approved changes in the financial and oversight relationship between city officials and neighborhood organizations. He also argued that he could do better at managing the city's finances.

A spokesman for Mayor R.T. Rybak said the mayor had no comment on Miller's decision.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438