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Kent Hehr drops out of Calgary mayoral race suspecting he has COVID-19

Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr is shown during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Thursday, December 7, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Fred Chartrand

A candidate running to be Calgary’s next mayor has dropped out of the race due to suspecting he has COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Kent Hehr, former MP for Calgary Centre and MLA for Calgary-Buffalo, announced he was shutting down his campaign after falling ill on Sunday. He said he is still awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test.

“What further complicates things is that people with spinal cord injuries are (at) a higher risk for COVID(-19) complications,” Hehr said in a statement. “Although I am double vaccinated, given the number of people with the Delta variant in Alberta and the ICUs being at or near capacity, the risks to my health are compounded.”

Read more: City auditor OKs Elections Calgary’s 2021 plans

“However, please do not mistake my withdrawal from the campaign with indifference to the campaign.”

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With Hehr’s withdrawal, the field hoping to be Calgary’s next mayor has been reduced to 27.

More than 100 candidates hope to fill the remaining 14 seats on city council.

Read more: Joe Magliocca, Calgary councillor at centre of spending scandal, announces re-election bid

Monday was nomination day — the final day for candidates to file their paperwork with Elections Calgary.

Noon on Tuesday is the deadline for candidates to withdraw their nominations or change office they are running for.

Calgarians go to the polls on Oct. 18.

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