An at-large candidate for the Independence City Council, Josh Crocker, is withdrawing from the race, meaning the other two candidates – incumbent Chris Whiting and former Planning Commission Member Karen DeLuccie – are in effect elected.

Crocker announced his decision Wednesday night, saying he wants to spare the taxpayers the cost of an election. He endorsed both Whiting and DeLuccie.

“I had a lot of good support,” Crocker, 38, a lifelong resident of the city, said Wednesday night. He said it was a difficult decision to withdraw but that he does plan to run for office in the future.

In a statement announcing his withdrawal from the at-large race, he said, “I am confident that the other two persons running will be excellent members of this council and I see no need to force the city to pay the outstanding costs of an election. … Hopefully, my withdrawal will help in a small way to move the city in a more positive direction without the need for a possible contentious election.”

Four seats on the council are up for election April 8. At-large Council Member Jim Schultz and 4th District Council Member Eileen Weir are running for mayor. DeLuccie and Whiting are running for the two at-large seats. Those are all four-year terms. In the 3rd District – the southeast part of the city – recently appointed Council Member Roxann Thorley is running against Scott A. Roberson to fill out the term of Myron Paris, who resigned this fall.

Crocker said he knocked on the doors of around 1,200 homes late in the summer to get signatures for his petition to file for office – a process he said was sometimes encouraging and sometimes not. On the other hand, he held a petition party that had a good turnout.

Crocker, who had never run for office before, said he was given encouragement and plans to run some day.

“It’s very much in the future,” he said.