Lewless drops out of Lansing City Council race

By Neal McNamara

Fourth Ward candidate says he will soon be moving out of state

Fourth Ward Lansing City Council candidate Chris Lewless said Thursday that he is leaving the race because he will be moving to the West Coast to take a new job.

Lewless finished second in the August primary, beating retired teacher Tom Truscott by just 50 votes. This leaves Jessica Yorko as the only candidate running in the Fourth Ward.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work outside the area for a while,” Lewless said. “I have a good opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. Those opportunities don’t exist in this area or the state right now.”

Lewless would not say exactly when he is moving, but Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope said that Lewless his name would still appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Lewless, who has been practicing law on his own recently, would not say what exactly his new job is, but said it would involve law. A source said that Lewless is moving to Seattle.

Lewless said that his decision to move had nothing to do with his campaign, or his career in politics in the area. In 2006, he ran for the 68th District House seat, which is now occupied by Joan Bauer. He came in third in that race behind Bauer and Jerry Hollister, son of former Lansing Mayor David Hollister, with 20 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.

Over the past few months, Lewless said he has been working out of the area, but still in Michigan. He said he had been campaigning “off and on” since the primary. Admittedly, he has not been as active in his Council campaign as he was in the 2006 campaign.

“I was as active as any of the Council candidates, except (Yorko),” he said.

Lewless said that this morning he met with his treasurer, Ingham County Commissioner Brian McGrain, and is deciding which charities to disperse his campaign money to.

Though Yorko is unchallenged, Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope said that anyone could file as a write-in candidate up until Oct. 23.