One of the five candidates vying to be mayor of Baker has withdrawn from the March 5 election, citing health issues after a pair of accidents in the past year.

Former Baker City Councilman Fred O. Russell, 80, said he’s been “slow to recover” from a car accident and a bad fall in the last year.

“I simply do not have the energy and physical strength that is necessary to successfully manage the affairs of the city of Baker,” said Russell, who spent 23 years on the Baker City Council and also served as an assistant to the mayor between 1994 and 2004.

Russell, a Democrat, said he appreciated the support he’d received during his brief candidacy and hoped to serve his hometown of the last 50 years again in the future.

“I will always be devoted to my city and its many wonderful residents,” Russell said. “I hope to contribute to the civic affairs of Baker in the future after I’ve made a full recovery.”

Russell’s withdrawal leaves four candidates in the field to replace outgoing Mayor Harold Rideau, who is not seeking re-election. The remaining candidates — all Democrats — are Leroy Davis, Joyce Burges, Carlon “Frank” Simpson and Darnell “DA-1” Waites.