Kenneth Robar, the Sooke resident who was first to register as a candidate for the upcoming civic byelection, has signalled his intention to withdraw from the race.

"This is to let you know I am stepping down as [a] candidate because of health. I feel it will be for the best," said Robar in an email to the Sooke News Mirror.

Robar made the news in August when he was reported as a missing person.

Four days later, he was located in Ontario and returned to Sooke. No explanation was given for his disappearance, with RCMP citing privacy considerations as the reason for withholding information.

Carolyn Mushata, the district's chief electoral officer, said she'st received no formal notification from Robar.

Robar is required to give Mushata written notification to make the withdrawal official.

"Even if we got a letter today, the legislation says that I would then write to the minister [of Municipal Affairs] and the minister would direct us in what to do," Mushata said.

"The legislation states that the minister's decision on reprinting ballots is time dependant and, given that voting starts next Wednesday (Sept. 18), I doubt that we'd be directed to try to get new ballots at this point."

That would mean that the names of all 10 candidates for council, including Robar's, would remain on the ballot.

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