Ward 1 Alderman Nick Shalek ’05 said Wednesday that he will not campaign for the Democratic endorsement for a second term as alderman, a move that came as a surprise to some Ward 1 leaders and virtually guarantees that the upcoming April endorsement election will be uncontested.

Unless someone files to run by Friday at 5pm, his decision leaves Rachel Plattus ’09 as the sole contender in a race specifically designed to broaden the candidate field and increase student participation in the process.

Shalek, who works full-time at the Yale Investments Office, said he regrettably could not find the time to balance his aldermanic duties and career with the stresses of running a campaign. He said he has not yet solidified plans for the

future, although he may seek alternative routes, other than sitting on the Board of Alderman, to work for New Haven.

Hugh Baran, co-chair of the Ward 1 Aldermanic Committee, said he still feels the new endorsement election — which replaces the former system in which a closed-door vote of the Ward 1 Democratic Committee decided the party’s choice for a candidate — has still been successful in that it

has brought “new people to the table.”

But Baran said he was slightly surprised that Shalek decided to forgo the race, which both he and Shalek had helped to spearhead.

“I”m surprised, but also I’m not because he hadn’t indicated in the process that he was planning on [running],” Baran said. “But there’s still the possibility for anyone to file.”

Under the new rules, there are fewer hurdles to filing to run in the Ward 1 Endorsement election than in the past. Prospective candidates must collect 80 signatures, fill out the forms available on www.ward1democrats.com, and submit

them by Friday afternoon to the New Haven City Clerk’s Office.