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On Monday Councillor Andrew Whiley said he would pull out of the race if another candidate, who he did not name, but was rumoured to be Susie Staley, launched a campaign.
Ms Staley told the Otago Daily Times she was approached about three weeks ago by a "number" of people encouraging her to stand.
"I actually thought quite seriously about it.
"I was discussing with a number of people what could I do as a campaign, what would I bring as a mayor."
After due consideration she decided she could not do justice to the role while running her legal practice Staley Cardoza (with her business partner), she said.
She did not rule out standing in the future.
"I don't think you should ever rule anything out."
She was "amazed" by the amount of unsolicited support the rumour had garnered, particularly that offered by Cr Whiley.
"I am very grateful to Andrew Whiley, he clearly fell on the sword like a gentleman."