Don Koziak announced Thursday that he is dropping out of the mayor's race to run against Kim Krushell in Ward 2. (CBC)

Don Koziak quit his run for the mayor's chair, instead challenging for a council seat in Ward 2 against incumbent Kim Krushell.

"The events in the last two days have convinced me that my talents and passions would be best deployed in a bid for city council in Ward 2," he said.

Koziak has been involved in the campaign to keep the City Centre Airport open. Krushell wants the airport closed.

Koziak says he doesn't want to split the vote for those who oppose Mayor Stephen Mandel among candidates who are against the airport. Earlier this week, another pro-airport candidate, David Dorward, entered the mayoral race.

Dorward was endorsed Thursday by Envision Edmonton, the group behind the failed petition to force the city to hold a plebiscite on the airport's future. Yesterday, council voted against holding a plebiscite on the airport's future this fall.

While Krushell didn't expect Koziak to run for her seat, she was expecting competition.

"I certainly had many comments and threats, quite frankly, from different indivduals who said that if I didn't change my position on the airport issue that they were going to definitely be a force to reckoned with during the civic election," she said.

Koziak launched his bid for mayor in early August. The part owner of the Chateau Louis Hotel, ran a distant second to Stephen Mandel, the current mayor, in the 2007 election. He took 25 per cent of the vote, compared to Mandel's 66 per cent.