Barrie City Councillor Natalie Harris withdraws from mayoral race

Natalie Harris has left the race to become Barrie's 47th mayor less than one month after filing her nomination papers with the city.

The Ward 6 councillor announced her intention to run as mayor at the start of the year, citing affordable housing as her main priority.

Harris confirmed the decision to leave the race in a statement to CTV News Tuesday afternoon.

"After much consideration and discussions with my family and friends, I have decided to remove my name from the mayoral race in Barrie."

Harris said she would still "put my best foot forward to serve behind the scenes and will, of course, complete my role as Ward Six city councillor."

She wished the other candidates luck in the statement, adding, "I have much respect for anyone who puts their name into a political race to serve their community. It is not an easy task.

To the women looking to run for political positions, keep your head high, and stay true to your morals and values. You will be tested in many ways. But always stay true to yourself. Never sacrifice integrity, ever."

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The mayor's seat went up for grabs when Jeff Lehman announced he wouldn't seek re-election to instead set his sights on provincial politics. He was first elected mayor in 2010 and served three terms.

With Harris out of the running, the only other certified mayoral candidates listed by the City of Barrie are former city councillor and MP Alex Nuttall and Rob Haverson.

Interested candidates have until Aug. 19 to file their nominations.

Voters will head to the polls on Oct. 24 for the Municipal Election.