A candidate for Oro Valley Town Council has decided to bow out of the May election.

Don Emmons, one of four remaining candidates for two seats on the town council, said he would not continue in the race. In a brief, handwritten letter delivered to the town clerk Monday, Emmons cited personal reasons for his decision to leave.

Emmons had placed fifth in a seven-candidate race in the March 9 primary vote, earning a spot on the general election ballot. He garnered 3,068 votes, roughly 28 percent, to advance to the general election after making few campaign appearances and spending almost no money, according to the most recent round of campaign finance reports.

His absence leaves Joe Hornat, Matthew Rabb and Lou Waters to vie for the remaining two council seats.

Arizona case law and county election regulations do not permit for candidates who did not make the cut in the primary to advance into the general election even if one of the candidates drops out.

"Once the results of the first election are set, that sets the candidates for the general election," Oro Valley Town Attorney Tobin Rosen said.

Rosen said a recent case in the Arizona Court of Appeals involving a similar situation determined that the name of a losing candidate in a municipal non-partisan election can't appear on the ballot in the general election even if a winning candidate drops out of the race or otherwise can't continue.

Emmons name will appear on the ballot in May.

Town Clerk Kathryn Cuvelier said the Pima County Elections Department was unable to remove Emmons' name from the ballot, but would put a notation on ballots indicating the candidate had withdrawn from the race.

Similar notifications will be posted at polling stations to notify voters of Emmons' withdrawal.

Any votes Emmons receives will not be tallied, Cuvelier said.


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