British Columbia

Squamish hereditary Chief Ian Campbell no longer running for mayor of Vancouver

Squamish hereditary Chief Ian Campbell announced in a statement issued late Monday afternoon he is no longer in the running for mayor of Vancouver.

Campbell says after consideration, 'best choice is for me to withdraw as candidate for mayor of Vancouver'

Ian Campbell announced Monday he was exiting the race for mayor of Vancouver. (James Mulleder/CBC)

Squamish hereditary Chief Ian Campbell announced in a statement issued late Monday afternoon he is no longer in the running for mayor of Vancouver.

Campbell, who was intending to run on the Vision Vancouver slate,  said he was exiting the race in "a decision that may be a surprise to many."

"I've reflected on the political landscape and my complicated personal journey," Campbell wrote in the statement. "When I put all these pieces together, it seems clear that the best choice is for me to withdraw as candidate for mayor of Vancouver.

"I want to thank my family and supporters for standing beside me throughout this entire journey and effort."

Vision Vancouver co-chair Michael Haack was quoted in the statement saying the party's focus is "to support our talented candidates running for Council, School Board and Park Board."

There was no mention in the news release of a new mayoral candidate for Vision, which holds a majority on council.

However, the party is facing the reality of many of its long-serving politicians not seeking re-election, including Mayor Gregor Robertson.

The deadline for nominations for the 2018 civic elections is Sept. 14.

Impact on other candidates

Vision Vancouver did not return CBC's calls on Monday evening.

At an event at Heritage Hall on Main Street that same evening, Kennedy Stewart, who would have been one of Campbell's rivals, refused to speculate on how the Vision candidate's departure would affect the race.

"This doesn't change much for me. I'm just continue to campaign the way I've been campaigning," Stewart said. "I wish him well."

Kennedy Stewart, who has also announced a run to be Vancouver's next mayor, offered little insight as to how Campbell's departure would affect the race. (CBC)

But UBC political science professor Richard Johnston surmised that with the departure of Campbell, one of the bigger names in the race, Stewart could benefit based on name-recognition alone.

And, he added, Campbell's exit could spell trouble for Vision as they continue to compete for park board, school board and council seats. He says the party lacks a strong core of incumbents familiar to voters and won't be able to fundraise as much as it had before due to new campaign finance rules.

In addition, Johnston said, he thinks this move might impact how passionate electors are on Oct. 20.

"I think voters are going to have a hard time figuring out who's who and what's what," he said. "I don't think that's going to be particularly good for turnout."

With files from Meera Bains

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