Former Kelowna mayoral candidate Joshua Hoggan. —Image: Facebook

Joshua Hoggan drops out of Kelowna mayor’s race

Departure leaves four men vying for city’s top elected position

Pending any last minute entrants, the race for Kelowna mayor is now a four-way contest.

Candidate Josh Hoggan has dropped out of the race.

Late Thursday, just one day before the close of nominations, Hoggan announced on Facebook he was pulling out of the race, saying running for office has proven incredibly challenging and exciting.

“The obstacles, internally and externally, have been completely unanticipated and often welcome opportunities for growth.

But he said the pressures of running for office have taken a severe toll on him emotionally as he became increasingly empathetic towards the intensity of the many issues revolving around life in our city.

“My ultimate master plan has been to change the way people think and open their minds to other possibilities—even if they do not align with my own, wrote Hoggan. “This not just with the race for mayor, but with HikingAddiction and with Adventure Kelowna. (Businesses he operates) Building an all-inclusive environment of friendship, compassion, and hope. This is what Kelowna needs to be.”

Hoggan started his campaign by announcing he would donate the $106,000 salary he would receive if elected mayor to charity and followed that by saying he would live homeless for a year to raise awareness about the plight of the homeless in the city.

Related: Kelowna mayoral candidate vows to become homeless if elected

He said he had already accepted an offer to sell his home and was making arrangements to but his belongings in storage.

He thanked his supporters and said the the mayor should be a person of “incredible character and strength, amongst all the storms that may face them.”

“It is their duty to cast aside their own personalities and sacrifice themselves on the altar of the people. To become an icon that symbolizes the highlights and shadows of our ever growing diverse community. And not only an icon, but also a beacon of hope for our most altruistic selves. An ever stoic pillar of strength, compassion, leadership, knowledge, and wisdom. Wisdom. Remember that.”

His departure leaves incumbent Colin Basran and challengers Bob Schewe, Bobby Kennedy and Tom Dyas still in the race for the mayor’s chair.

Candidates for mayor, as well as city councillor and board of education trustee have until today (Friday) at 4 p.m. to file nomination papers to run in the Oct. 20 civic election.

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