CARLSBAD — Longtime Carlsbad Councilman Mark Packard announced Aug. 7 he is withdrawing from the District 1 race.
In an email to The Coast News, Packard confirmed he is stepping down from the race.
“Today I am announcing that after long, careful consideration with my wife, family, and God, that I have decided to step back from my candidacy for re-election to the Carlsbad City Council,” his statement read. “It has been an honor to serve our city for the past 16 years, and to be part of the progress our city has made in staying vibrant and healthy, and a wonderful place to live and raise a family. We are on a great path forward, and I hope the citizens will decide to “stay the course “ so that Carlsbad’s future is even better.”
With Packard out of the race, it leaves Linda Breen and David McGee, who filed on Aug. 1, as the only candidates who have filed their nomination papers with the city for District 1. Tracy Carmichael and Barbara Hamilton, meanwhile, also have announced their candidacies, but have yet to file as of Aug. 7. They have until Aug. 15 to submit their nomination papers.
Packard is the second incumbent this year to opt to not run for re-election. Councilman Michael Schumacher, who represents District 3, announced his decision to not seek re-election earlier this year. Priya Bhat-Patel and Corrine Busta are running for the open seat in District 3.
Packard defeated Carmichael twice — in 2002 and 2006 — for a seat on the council. Before this year, council races were at-large, meaning every resident could vote for a list of candidates, with the top two earning a seat. This year, though, the city moved to district elections, with district 1 and 3 up this year.
The mayoral race, however, remains at-large and features incumbent Mayor Matt Hall against Councilwoman Cori Schumacher.
Packard, meanwhile, was first elected to the Carlsbad Unified School District in 1990 and served until 1998. He was elected to the council in 2002 and has held dozens of positions on local and regional boards and commissions. Over the past several years, Packard has championed trenching the railroad tracks in Carlsbad Village to Tamarack Avenue.
He also has been active with community involvement with Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary, the Boy Scouts and an active leader with the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints.
Correction: District 1 candidates have until Aug. 15 to file their nomination papers. A previous version listed Aug. 10 as the deadline was incorrect.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.