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FULLERTON : McNutt Pulls Out of Special Election

Robert E. McNutt has withdrawn from a special recall election in October to replace Councilman Don Bankhead, one of three officials recalled earlier this year.

McNutt, 50, said Monday he is throwing his support to another candidate in the special election, but that he would try to win one of two seats to be filled in the November general election.

McNutt, president and owner of Western Conveyor and Construction Inc., was the only candidate to file papers for both the general and the special elections.

McNutt said he was under the impression that W. Peter Godfrey was going to run for a City Council seat in the general election and decided to run in the special election. On Thursday, McNutt discovered that Godfrey filed papers to run in the special election.

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On Friday, McNutt withdrew from that race because his supporters also supported Godfrey.

“If I didn’t win, I would want (Godfrey) to win, and I was afraid we’d fracture the vote and neither one of us would win,” McNutt said. “I didn’t want to confuse the issue any more than it’s already been confused.”

McNutt said he will make an announcement about his withdrawal Wednesday and will urge his supporters to vote for him in the general election and for Godfrey in the October special election.

Godfrey, 49, called McNutt’s withdrawal a “smart move.”

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“I am delighted and I certainly appreciate (McNutt’s) thoughtfulness,” said Godfrey, an attorney. “I think it’s a strategic move and a move of generosity. . . . It will save me $15,000 to $20,000 in campaign costs.”

City officials said McNutt waited too long to withdraw from the special election race and that his name will appear on the ballot. Sample ballots of the special election will not contain his candidacy statement.

McNutt said voters may become confused when they see his name on the ballot. He said he wants his supporters to vote for Godfrey.


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