Second candidate drops out of Victoria byelection, endorses Stephen Andrew

For the second time this week, a candidate has unofficially withdrawn from the Victoria council byelection and thrown his support behind Stephen Andrew.

Keith Rosenberg confirmed Friday that he has ended his campaign, although his name will still appear on the Dec. 12 ballot.

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He joins Jason Heit, who also pulled out this week and endorsed Andrew.

Rosenberg said he and his wife are home-schooling two children with special needs as well as supporting his parents in seniors care during the pandemic.

“I just said, ‘You know, I’m wondering if I bit off more than I can chew right now.’ ”

Rosenberg said he tried to officially withdraw from the race, but was too late to get his name removed from the ballot.

“I refuse to try to make any promises to the people that I cannot follow through on,” he said in an emailed response to a Time Colonist survey of candidates.

“So although my name will STILL be on the ballot, I will not be campaigning for the position at this time.”

Rosenberg said in an interview that he agrees with many of the ideas in Andrew’s platform and would like to see him elected.

“I think he would be a breath of fresh air,” he said.

Andrew welcomed Rosenberg’s support.

“I am particularly proud of his stance against council several months ago when he dressed them down for their needless attack on Remembrance Day and our veterans,” he said.

Rosenberg, a Canadian military veteran, was among those who criticized council last year for voting to ask the Department of National Defence Department and Veterans Affairs Canada to help with policing costs for Remembrance Day and other military-related events. Following a backlash, council dropped the motion and apologized.

With Rosenberg and Heit pulling out of the race, there are now nine candidates actively campaigning to fill a the council seat vacated by Laurel Collins, who resigned after winning the Victoria riding for the NDP in last year’s federal election.

Advance voting begins Tuesday at the Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas St., and will continue through Saturday, Dec. 5. Additional advance voting takes place Dec. 7-9 at the same location.

An accessible voting machine will be available at the Crystal Garden on all advance voting days and on general voting day on Dec. 12. Curbside voting will also be available for people with accessibility challenges.

lkines@timescolonist.com

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