Stephen Reichlin dropped out of the Fifth Ward race for the Columbia City Council on Tuesday.
Reichlin could not be reached for comment. Candidate Laura Nauser, however, said Reichlin dropped out of the race because he didn’t want to split the vote of the business community.
“I think what he did was a very unselfish act,” Nauser said. “It is hard to decide to run for public office and equally hard to decide to withdraw.”
Nauser said that if Reichlin stayed in the race, they might have split the business vote because they are both small-business owners and would have been on the same page as the business community on many issues.
While the health of the business community is important to Nauser, she said there are many other issues that concern her.
Incumbent Fifth Ward Councilman John John, who had endorsed Reichlin, said he respects Reichlin’s decision to withdraw.
“It was his decision based on what he thought was the best for the citizens of the Fifth Ward and for the citizens of Columbia,” John said, adding that he doesn’t yet know who he will support.
City Clerk Sheela Amin said Reichlin withdrew his name from the ballot on the last possible day.
“I’ve notified the county clerk’s office to take his name off,” Amin said. “Other candidates can still withdraw if they choose, but their names will still be on the ballot.”
Joseph Vradenburg and Gayle Troutwine have also turned in petitions to file for the Fifth Ward council seat.