Chief Ian Campbell of Squamish nation speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on January 17, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Vision Vancouver mayoral hopeful withdraws

Outgoing Mayor Gregor Robertson’s party says it will focus on supporting its other candidates

The man acclaimed to lead Vancouver’s ruling civic party into next month’s municipal election has announced he is withdrawing from the mayor’s race.

Ian Campbell, a Squamish Nation hereditary chief, issued a statement late Monday saying he has made the “difficult” decision to withdraw from the campaign.

Campbell’s announcement comes just days before candidate nominations are due to close for the Oct. 20 vote.

In a statement included with Campbell’s announcement, Vision Vancouver co-chair Michael Haack says the party will focus on supporting its council, school board and park board candidates.

The statement does not mention plans to replace Campbell, who was acclaimed as Vision’s mayoral candidate in June, after three-term Mayor Gregor Robertson confirmed he would not seek re-election.

In announcing his decision to step aside, Campbell says the approaching deadline to enter the race forced him to reflect on the political landscape and his “complicated personal journey.”

“This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly. I’m proud of the ideas I’ve brought to the table and the platform we’ve developed with our remarkable team of candidates and members,” Campbell said in the release.

READ MORE: Nomination period kicks off for B.C.’s 2018 municipal elections

With Campbell’s departure, seven people are currently seeking the mayor’s chair, including Ken Sim representing the Non-Partisan Association and New Democrat member of Parliament Kennedy Stewart, who is running as an Independent.

Prospective candidates for mayor, council, park board and school board have until 4 p.m. on Sept. 14 to submit a completed nomination packages to the City of Vancouver’s election office.

The Canadian Press

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