In a press release emailed on June 20, 2014, Leon Bryson has announced that he will no longer be a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the Ward 5 city council primary on Aug. 5, 2014. Bryson had submitted the necessary 100 signatures to qualify for the ballot alongside incumbent Democrat Chuck Warpehoski, who is nearing the completion of his first two-year term on the council.
In his press release, Bryson writes: “As much as I wanted to represent you and our city, I have learned that I am not yet ready to take on this position. As I campaigned for office, it became clear to me that I needed to know more about city issues and local politics in order to serve residents in the most effective way.” Bryson also indicates in his press release that he’ll be returning monetary campaign contributions. He concludes his message with well wishes for Warpehoski: “I wish my opponent Councilmember Warpehoski the best, and hope that he serves the residents of the Fifth Ward and our city well.” [.pdf of Leon Bryson June 20, 2104 press release]
Bryson’s name will still appear on the Ward 5 primary ballot. Bryson’s announcement of his withdrawal came on the same day that the city clerk announced that the first wave of absentee ballots were being sent to those who had requested them. The deadline for withdrawing from the race in time to ensure that a candidate’s name does not appear on the ballot is three days after the deadline for submitting signatures – which was April 22 this year. If Bryson were to receive more votes than Warpehoski, he would still be declared the winner of the election.