- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Jon Baliles is withdrawing from the crowded Richmond mayoral race, saying continuing would only help front-runner Joe Morrissey.

The Richmond councilman announced that he’s ending his bid for mayor in a Facebook post Wednesday, less than a week before Election Day.

Baliles says he wants to avoid splitting votes and “electing someone who so plainly cares only about himself.”

Baliles didn’t endorse any of the other candidates in what is now a six-person field, but he encouraged others to drop out too. A poll conducted last month put Baliles in fourth place, with 6 percent of the vote.

Baliles is asking voters not to cast protest votes for him “because the stakes are too high and our city’s future is too valuable.”

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