Simon Richter, an embedded systems expert from Germany, said he was pulling out of the race for personal reasons which he did not specify.
"As you may have noticed, life happened to me shortly after sending that mail [the email announcing he was throwing his hat in the ring]," he wrote.
"I'm definitely not in a position to make a serious bid anymore, so I'd like to withdraw. I still have opinions, but I guess I'll just blog about them at some point."
Richter has contested the leadership once before, in 2007, when the post was won by Frenchman Sam Hocevar.
Voting for the DPL will take place between 7 April and 20 April.
Debian is the only free software project that has an elected leader. The project puts out what is arguably the best GNU/Linux distribution which caters to the widest range of architectures and has served as the base for many other distributions, including the most popular one, Ubuntu.