There's been a surprising development in the Vancouver mayoral race.
The candidate for the city's oldest party, the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association, has decided to withdraw.
John Coupar, an 11-year park commissioner, did not offer an explanation in a statement released over social media.
"I love this city and have enjoyed serving the residents of Vancouver over 11 years," Coupar said. "I have always strived to walk with the utmost integrity and with an unwavering commitment to those I serve."
He added that he's looking forward to spending time with family and friends.
Coupar made the decision after huge ads of him as the NPA mayoral candidate had appeared on TransLink buses.
A recent Mainstreet Research poll showed that Coupar had the support of 6.1 percent of those who had decided which Vancouver mayoral candidate they were going to support.
Topping the poll was Mayor Kennedy Stewart at 17.1 percent, followed by Coun. Colleen Hardwick at 13.2 percent, Mark Marissen at 11.3 percent, and Ken Sim at 10.9 percent.
More than 40 percent remained undecided.
In a statement, the NPA said that it will announce a new mayoral candidate at a future date.
In April 2021, the NPA board chose Coupar as its 2022 mayoral candidate without holding a nominating meeting.
That prompted three councillors elected on the NPA slate in 2018—Hardwick, Lisa Dominato, and Sarah Kirby-Yung—to leave the caucus and sit as independents.
Shortly afterward, the three NPA trustees also left, leaving the party with a caucus of three: Coun. Melissa De Genova, Commissioner Tricia Barker, and Coupar.
Another councillor elected on the NPA slate in 2018, Rebecca Bligh, left the caucus in 2019.
Bligh, Dominato, and Kirby-Yung are all part of ABC Vancouver and will seek reelection under this banner with Sim as their mayoral candidate.