COURTENAY, B.C- David Frisch wants city council to stay balanced.

The first-time city councillor made a surprising announcement on Thursday, stepping away from his bid for the mayoral seat in Courtenay for a run at re-election to council.

Frisch made the announcement after news of incumbent mayor Larry Jangula running again had broken the previous evening, but told the newsroom that the mayor’s decision hadn’t been a factor in his own planning.

“Vote splitting comes into the equation,” said Frisch.

“I think quite a few of the candidates are progressive and I think when people go to the ballot, it could be very challenging for them to decide where they want to put their vote, and that could cause some issues for keeping a balanced council, for sure.”

Frisch did not offer an endorsement for either Bob Wells, or Erik Eriksson, both of whom are seeking the mayor’s seat and also are on Courtenay council.

“I think when people are looking at the mayoral candidates, they really should reflect on what they want to see in the Valley, in terms of affordable housing , and is supporting the initiatives for transportation options, and supporting our downtown,” said Frisch.

“I think that’s going to be really important.”

The nomination period for candidates opened Tuesday morning and will close on Friday, Sept. 14 at 4 p.m.