Riverside Councilman Mike Gardner announced he was ending his bid for reelection Friday.
Gardner has represented the downtown, Northside and Wood Streets neighborhoods since 2007.
The decision clears the path for his only opponent, nonprofit manager Erin Edwards, to claim the Ward 1 seat in the November runoff.
Edwards bested the incumbent in last month’s election, receiving 43 percent of the vote to Gardner’s 36 percent.
Because neither candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election was scheduled for Nov. 5.
In a Facebook post, Gardner said that the decision to end his run was a difficult one but ultimately hinged on not wanting to run a negative campaign.
“While I believe I could win the November election, the campaign that would be required to overcome the deficit in votes would be partisan and confrontational. That is not the type of campaign I am willing to run,” Gardner said. “I will not attack the other candidate.”
Though he will remain on the ballot, he said he will not raise money, send mailers or walk precincts for the election.
“I will continue to serve and support Ward 1 and Riverside until my successor is sworn in,” Gardner said.
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