LEWISTON — Mayoral candidate Walter M. Hill removed his name from the municipal ballot Friday, ending his campaign.

“Today was really the deadline to make that happen,” City Clerk Kathy Montejo said. “It unusual, but it does happen.”

Hill’s departure for the race leaves only two candidates — incumbent Mayor Robert Macdonald and former Mayor Larry Gilbert.

Hill had collected the 100 valid signatures from Lewiston voters to guarantee himself a spot on the ballot. Nominations closed on Sept. 6.

Hill said Friday that he was withdrawing because of family considerations.

“I’m just not going to have the time right now,” Hill said. “I still hope to serve in the future, but I think this is what’s best for my family.”

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Hill, a registered Democrat, said he was supporting Gilbert, who is also a Democrat.

“I wouldn’t presume to tell other people how to vote, but I’m voting for the Democrat,” Hill said. “He’s more in line with my political views, more so than his opponent.”

Hill said his candidacy might have taken votes away from Gilbert, hurting his chances.

“I’m sure it’s a possibility, but I realized that going in,” Hill said. “That’s not what has changed. The difference now is a lack of time, with what’s come up.”

Montejo said Hill’s decision came just as she’s preparing the ballots for the Nov. 5 election.

“We submitted our ballots to the printer, but we had not received proofs yet,” she said. “So there was still time to change them. But Friday was really the last day for that to happen.”

Montejo said she expects the ballots to be printed and ready for absentee voting by Oct. 4.

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