Otto Stoll, a public relations consultant and citizen activist, has withdrawn from the race for a Thousand Oaks City Council seat for health reasons.
Stoll said he has undergone two heart transplant operations and suffers from transplant coronary artery disease, a progressive terminal illness. He recently spent two weeks in the hospital after his body tried to reject his transplanted heart, he said.
Because he fears future bouts of illness that may require prolonged hospitalization, Stoll said he felt compelled to bow out of the council race. His condition, he added, would make it difficult to campaign or serve effectively.
“Heart patients can lead a very active life, but I don’t think they should promise the voters four years of service when they may not be able to deliver,” he said.
Stoll will continue to serve on several committees, including Citizens for a Safe Ventura County and the Ventura County Area Housing Authority. He is organizing a daylong crime prevention seminar to be held Saturday at Westlake High School.
Three council seats will be up for grabs in November. Mayor Elois Zeanah and Councilwoman Judy Lazar have announced plans to run for reelection. Other candidates include dentist Gregory Cole, firefighter Andy Fox and detective Mike Markey.
Stoll said he backs Zeanah and Fox, but would not issue formal endorsements. “I don’t have any support to throw anywhere,” he said.