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McGee bows out of Caldwell mayor's race ahead of runoff

John McGee, a current Caldwell city councilman, finished a distant second to Jarom Wagoner in the Nov. 2 election.

CALDWELL, Idaho — Caldwell City Councilman John McGee is declining participation in the city's mayoral runoff election, scheduled for Nov. 30.

McGee received about 22% of the vote in the Nov. 2 general election, just 14 votes ahead of Chris Trakel, but far behind fellow councilman Jarom Wagoner, who received 47% of the vote.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, McGee wrote, "I am grateful for the constant support to me, my beautiful wife Hanna, and my family. Although the results aren't what we had hoped, I am grateful for my community!"

In a news release from the McGee campaign, attached to his Facebook post, McGee also said, "the people of Caldwell have spoken, and I believe they would like Mr. Wagoner to be their next mayor. It is in the best interest of the City of Caldwell to avoid a long, costly runoff." 

The McGee campaign's news release also quotes Caldwell City Clerk Debbie Guyer as saying, "for now, we need to initiate the runoff election process. At the same time, we are working with the city attorney to determine how the withdrawal can avoid the need to continue that process..."

A Caldwell city ordinance directs that a runoff be held for mayoral elections in which no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote.

Right now, it is not clear what happens in the event that one of the top-two candidates declines to run. McGee's attorney, Greg Chaney, on Tuesday asked a judge to have McGee officially dropped from the race and allow Wagoner to become the mayor-elect without a runoff. The judge told McGee and Chaney the decision needs to be made at the city level, not in court.

The candidate certified as the winner of this year's election will succeed Garret Nancolas, who decided to not run for what could have been a seventh term as Caldwell's mayor.

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