ELY – Mayoral candidate Eric Urbas pulled out of the race here last week, leaving incumbent Chuck Novak as the only contestant on the ballot for the Nov. 3 election.In notifying the Ely City …
ELY – Mayoral candidate Eric Urbas pulled out of the race here last week, leaving incumbent Chuck Novak as the only contestant on the ballot for the Nov. 3 election.
In notifying the Ely City Clerk’s office on the ballot withdrawal last week, Urbas cited health reasons for his decision.
Urbas’ name will still appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, according to Ely Accounting Clerk Katie Richards. The nomination period ran from May 19 to June 2, and the ballot deadline was on June 4, she said.
Urbas confirmed the news of his exit from the race over the weekend on social media.
“I want to announce that I am withdrawing from the Ely mayoral race due to health reasons,” he said, citing a 15-year medical battle. “I am not going to dive into specifics. I just hope everyone can understand my reason. Thank you to everyone for all the support throughout this race. It is appreciated and humbling. If anyone wants their shirts signed, just get a hold of me.”
An Ely native and 2007 graduate of Ely Memorial High School, Urbas continued his education at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he earned a degree in businesses administration with an emphasis in finance. He is employed with R&R Transfer.
In seeking elected office for the first time, Urbas said he “wanted Ely to survive.” He said that the Ely community has missed opportunities to grow.
“I think a lot of people want to keep living in Ely and I think there are some opportunities to gain some incentives and pull some industries into town. There are more opportunities out there,” he said when he threw his hat in the ring. “Growing up in Ely, my family is in Ely, my grandparents are from Ely. I don’t want Ely to fizzle away,” Urbas said.
He told the Timberjay this week that at the beginning of summer he felt he could handle putting more on his plate.
“But, in the last month and a half I started going backward and I can’t take on a role that I don’t feel positive that I can do completely,” he said.
Novak is seeking a fourth term in his second time as mayor. He also won the mayoral seat in 2006 but lost a re-election bid two years later.
The city of Ely election this fall also features a city council race that includes just the three incumbents – Jerome Debeltz, Paul Kess and Ryan Callen.
As reported last week, the top three vote getters out of four candidates are vying for seats on the Ely school board. Those running include incumbent Tom Omerza and three newcomers, Darren Visser, Hollee Coombe and Rachel Brophy.
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