The union-backed candidate cited personal reasons for opting to withdraw, throwing a curve into the southwest Minneapolis race.
Alex Phung has taken himself out of the race for a school board seat representing southwest Minneapolis, a decision that reshuffles what had been the most competitive school race on this year's ballot.
Phung, a lawyer with Cargill Inc., cited personal reasons for the decision and thanked his supporters. He is married to a Hopkins teacher and they do not have children.
His departure raises the issue of where labor support will shift. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers endorsed Phung and other union groups followed that lead. The only declared and filed candidate for the post so far is Tracine Asberry, a former Minneapolis teacher and MFT member whom the union nevertheless bypassed in favor of Phung.
David Weingartner said this week that he's planning to run but hasn't yet filed. Curtis Johnson, who didn't return a call this week about his plans, was the fourth candidate in a field that battled to a standoff at the DFL endorsing convention on May 19. Asberry led on all five ballots but fell short of the 60 percent endorsement threshold. Phung ran a strong second.
Phung said, "I will continue to seek opportunities to ensure that our Minneapolis Public Schools provide a world-class education to all of our students."
If three candidates file, a primary will be held on Aug. 14. Filings close Tuesday at 5 p.m.