One of the three candidates seeking the Red Deer North PC nomination withdrew one hour after advance polling started on Thursday.
Jeffrey Dawson announced that he was removing himself from the Progressive Conservative nomination race.
That leaves Red Deer City Coun. Buck Buchanan and Red Deer County Coun. Christine Moore still seeking the nomination.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I am withdrawing my nomination bid for the PC Party of Red Deer North.” Dawson, a former Red Deer city councillor, tweeted at about 5 p.m. on Thursday.
An hour earlier, he had encouraged party members to come out and vote in Thursday’s advance poll, which ran from 4 to 8 p.m.
Voting is scheduled today to determine the winner of the nomination.
On his website, Dawson stated: “The people of Red Deer have clearly indicated that they support me; however, many indicate they will not vote for me as a PC Party candidate. I respect the opinion of the constituents of Red Deer North and have voluntarily removed myself from the ballot effective 5 p.m. March 19.”
When Dawson was reached on Friday, he said he had nothing else to say beyond what was on his website.
Asked about the possibility that ballots may have been spoiled, he called it “Unfortunate.”
The party issued a news release after Dawson withdrew stating that those who voted for Dawson in Thursday’s advance poll, prior to his withdrawal, would have their second choice, if indicated, counted as their vote. Those ballots without a second choice marked will be considered spoiled.
The two remaining candidates expressed surprise at Dawson’s sudden withdrawal.
“I know that Jeff’s been knocking on a lot of doors … I was very surprised at the 11th hourness of it,” Buchanan said on Friday.
Moore said she was “really sad and shocked because I know how much work goes into this. Anyone who enters a race like this, it takes a lot of courage and my thoughts are with him.”