Jackson Stein

Jackson Stein dropped out of the Brattleboro Select Board race, not wanting to take votes away from Jessica Callahan Gelter.

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BRATTLEBORO — Jackson Stein exited the Select Board race on the eve of the vote, becoming the second candidate this election to do so.

“At this point in the race with the amount of campaigning I did, I didn’t feel I had a chance of winning and didn’t want to pull any votes from Jess,” Stein said Sunday night in a text message response to the Reformer, referring to candidate Jessica Callahan Gelter.

The announcement came Sunday via an Instagram post in which Stein endorsed Gelter. The goal was to not split “the progressive votes” and prevent Evan Chadwick from being elected, said Stein, who would still “happily” serve if elected.

Stein was one of seven candidates running for two one-year seats on the Select Board in Tuesday’s election when a list was announced in late January. Gary Stroud, one of the candidates, announced he would be leaving the race at the Feb. 2 board meeting after learning he had prostate cancer.

At the meeting, Town Clerk Hilary Francis said it was too late to remove Stroud’s name from the ballot, but he said he would resign if elected and the board would need to appoint someone to fill the term.

Stein and Stroud were facing incumbent Daniel Quipp, Kurt Daims, Rikki Risatti, Chadwick and Gelter. After his exit from the race, Stroud endorsed Gelter and Daims.

Stein is part of the Tenants Union of Brattleboro, which brought forward a security deposit proposal the board approved 3-2 in December. That resulted in an amendment to a housing ordinance limiting what landlords can initially charge tenants to one month’s rent and a security deposit not to exceed the same amount.

Stein plans to run again next year.