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Candidate drops out of Powell River byelection

Glenn Holstine withdraws from race for city council
City of Powell River byelection
COUNCIL CANDIDATES: Three candidates are running in City of Powell River’s upcoming byelection on Saturday, April 6. Either [from left] George Doubt, Allan Drummond or Alan Rebane will claim the sixth seat on council once the votes are tabulated. Peak archive photos

And then there were three.

Glenn Holstine has dropped out of the byelection for City of Powell River councillor, leaving George Doubt, Allan Drummond and Alan Rebane still in the running for the sixth and final seat on city council.

Holstine made his decision after attending a contentious committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, March 6.

"At this point in time I have decided to withdraw my nomination for councillor and focus on my new position as captain in the marine industry,” stated Holstine in an email. “I will not rule out the possibility of throwing my hat back in the ring at a future election opportunity."

Coinciding with the start of campaigning, minor controversies arose over an advertisement placed by Doubt and a Drummond campaign sign placed on the lawn at city hall.

Doubt had previously been a member of council but his election was declared invalid by BC Supreme Court. The ruling came as a result of a petition filed by Drummond, who lost to Doubt in the October 2018 general election by two votes.

Also in October, Rebane was defeated for the position of qathet Regional District Area B director, which was won by Mark Gisborne.

All five of the sitting councillors: Maggie Hathaway, CaroleAnn Leishman, Rob Southcott, Cindy Elliott and James Palm have publicly endorsed Doubt, a move that Drummond said was just a hiccup in how things go in politics.

“People are entitled to endorse anyone they want,” said Drummond, adding that he thought using their official titles as councillors was unnecessary. “This is not unusual for political people to endorse certain candidates,” he added.

Political endorsements can backfire and Drummond said he is hearing that on the street.

“The people that I talk to around the community and when I'm out and about, I don't think there's a lot of sympathy for that type of politics,” said Drummond. “I don't think people are too impressed with it.”

Doubt said he was honoured when he was told that the five councillors hoped to see his re-election.

“I think it's significant,” said Doubt. “I served on council for a short period of time to have the endorsement and confidence of those people.”

Rebane said he thought some of the councillors would not have endorsed Doubt had they known he would be putting his name in the hat at the eleventh hour. He said Doubt’s ad might be an advantage to his campaign.

“I'm not too worried,” said Rebane. “In fact, I think it might even be better.”

Drummond left his own campaign statement by placing one of his campaign signs on the lawn at city hall.

According to chief election officer Chris Jackson, political signs are allowed on city property other than on the advance polling days and election day.

Advance polls will be open Wednesday, March 27, and Wednesday, April 3.

General voting for the byelection takes place Saturday, April 6.

Powell River Chamber of Commerce is holding an all-candidates meeting from 7 to 9 pm on Tuesday, March 26, at Evergreen Theatre in Powell River Recreation Complex.