The No. 1 name on the ballot for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Philadelphia has dropped out.
John Wood, a retired lieutenant in the Philadelphia Police Department, withdrew from the mayoral race on Wednesday afternoon.
“I entered the mayoral race because I see the extreme violence taking place in our city. Like many Philadelphians, I was heartbroken and wanted to help the community,” he wrote on a statement on his website.
“After careful consideration with my family and friends, I have decided to withdraw from the Mayoral race. Even with the #1 ballot position, I cannot compete with the millions of dollars raised so far by the other candidates.
Funds may have played a role in his departure, but questions about his residency certainly factored in as well. Philadelphia’s Home Rule Charter requires mayoral candidates to have been residents of the city for three years before taking office. Wood was registered to vote in the suburbs as recently as last year, although he claims not to know why he was registered at the address which is his mother’s house.
If there is someone that benefits from Wood’s withdrawal it is Cherelle Parker, who drew the No. 2 ball in the recent determination of the order candidates’ names will appear on the ballot.
With Wood’s withdrawal, Parker assumes the top spot as the first name on the ballot. Although the mayor’s race is as high-profile as it gets in a city the size of Philadelphia, being the first name voters see can be a positive.
Parker has not commented on Wood’s withdrawal.
“I got into this race later than the other candidates,” wrote Wood. “I understand these circumstances make it difficult for me to continue my run. This was never about me. This was about prioritizing the city’s safety, and I wish the next Mayor luck in pursuing this monumental task.”