Vancouver mayor candidate admits lie, withdraws

Vancouver Councilwoman Anne McEnerny-Ogle is the only candidate still in the race

Vancouver mayoral candidate Steve Cox in a screen grab from a council meeting, September 25, 2017
Vancouver mayoral candidate Steve Cox in a screen grab from a council meeting, September 25, 2017

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — The race to replace Tim Leavitt as mayor of Vancouver took a twist Tuesday night when one of the 2 remaining candidates dropped out.

Steve Cox withdrew as a mayoral candidate and resigned his position on several committees after verbally attacking Vancouver City Councilman Jack Burkman Monday night.

Steve Cox in an undated photo seen on his Vancouver mayoral Facebook page, September 27, 2017
Steve Cox in an undated photo seen on his Vancouver mayoral Facebook page, September 27, 2017

OPB reports Cox claimed Burkman violated his First Amendment rights after he was critical of a city development project at a recent neighborhood meeting. But Burkman said he wasn’t at that meeting. (Watch what Cox says at 21:50 of this video)

Cox later took to his campaign Facebook page and withdrew from the mayoral race, citing PTSD and claiming he is “100% disabled.” He served 36 years in the military, OPB reports.

In his Facebook post, Cox wrote, in part:

“Last night, 25 September 2017, I falsely accused an innocent man of wrong doing. Jack Burkman is an upstanding citizen and credit to his community and I sincerely apologize for mistakenly using his name. The shame is mine and not his.

“I cannot explain my mistake other than to say if you are a Veteran with MTBI/PTSD you will identify with and understand the symptoms. There is a reason I am 100% disabled and it was believed I could lead a normal life with therapy. This is my third attempt at leading a normal, healthy and productive life and I have failed again, embarrassing friends and family, those people I love and harming those who are innocent. This scar of humiliation is not easily erased from one’s physique. Mine is only to love others, speak truth and live in the image of my Lord. With this in mind, there is only one honorable course of action remaining for me. …”

That leaves current Vancouver Councilwoman Anne McEnerny-Ogle as the only candidate still in the race. However, because of the timing of Cox’s withdrawal, his name will remain on the ballot. If Cox wins, the city council will have to appoint someone.

Leavitt has been mayor for nearly 10 years and is stepping down this election cycle.