Former mayoral candidate and local businessman Trevor Eros has bowed out of the upcoming Abbotsford council byelection race.
The lifelong Abbotsford resident made the announcement to The News on Thursday (April 22) morning.
Eros had declared to run for the vacant seat on Feb. 22, but cited other life commitments and a lack of clarity on when the byelection will be occurring as the reasons for his departure from the race.
Bruce Banman, who had held the now vacant seat, won the Abbotsford South riding in the provincial election back in October and officially stepped down from his position as councillor on Feb. 28. The city made the announcement he was leaving the position on Feb. 18.
Eros said the likelihood of the byelection was something he had been thinking about since last fall.
“Once we saw that Dr. Banman was elected to MLA we could see in the future at some point there was a likelihood that there was going to be a byelection and we started preparing well in advance,” he said, noting he was already prepared to run in the 2022 municipal election. “And then we got to February and Dave [Sidhu] Dao [Tran] and myself put our names forward and that was nearly two months ago. And unfortunately we still don’t have any progress for when it is happening.”
Eros said the delays in announcing a date combined with his lack of free time due to work led to his decision. His business What Do You Need Event Services & More has been booming during the pandemic. He’s also plotting out the return of his professional wrestling promotion the Abbotsford-based Pacific Pro Wrestling.
“We figured there was going to be some sort of announcement on a date for the byelection but there still hasn’t been,” he said. “Life for me has continued on, especially with COVID, and I’ve reflected on what’s more important to me right now and it’s my family and more work from my business. I want to give my time and energy to them right now and I don’t feel like I could give my all to the councillor job and the byelection like I could have months ago. What’s changed for me is I don’t feel that I can give the city everything and that would be shortchanging them. It wouldn’t be fair.”
He said he’s satisfied with the job that the current Abbotsford council has done and hopes the new person can seamlessly join the team and work with the existing councillors. Eros said he wants voters to come out and participate in the byelection, whenever it is scheduled. He also wanted to thank his supporters for the many kind words he received when he announced his initial intentions to run.
Eros is also not ruling out running in the 2022 elections or subsequent municipal elections. Eros entered the municipal political arena for the first time in 2018 when he finished fourth in the mayoral race. He collected 957 votes in that election.
“It’s likely that I’m going to run in future elections and probable that it would be 2022,” he said. “I want to see how this byelection goes and the city plays out and then go from there.”
The News did reach out to the city of Abbotsford two weeks ago for information on the byelection, but it was stated that several steps, including selecting a chief electoral officer still need to be completed. It was also stated that the reason why the Mission mayoral election is already scheduled was because Mission posted the need for a byelection well before Abbotsford.