This article was updated 11:32 p.m. to reflect new information.
Junior Nikolai Doytchinov officially withdrew his candidacy for president of Duke Student Government.
Friday evening, less than a week after declaring his intention to run, Doytchinov—who currently serves as DSG’s executive vice president—informed DSG attorney general Syed Adil, a sophomore, that he was withdrawing for personal reasons. This leaves three candidates— sophomore Lavanya Sunder and juniors Rence Nemeh and Will Giles—still on the ballot.
"It was clear to me that currently, withdrawing was the best decision," Doytchinov said.
He noted that the campaign had made it difficult for him to perform well academically and in his role as EVP.
“Unfortunately, over the last several days I've realized that this campaign has been taking an unacceptable toll on my academic performance, my health and, above all, my ability to faithfully execute my current office,” Doytchinov wrote in his official statement. “The student body deserves an unbiased, full-time EVP, and I would like to focus on doing that job to the best of my ability.”
In his statement, Doytchinov thanked those who had supported his campaign thus far.
“I apologize for any acrimony or rudeness that I've committed, tolerated or encouraged in this campaign. My colleagues and the whole student body deserve way better, and I hope that the campaign can remain focused on the issues,” Doytchinov wrote.
In his interview with The Chronicle, Doytchinov acknowledged the presence of a student post that has been circulating Facebook. The post alleges that Doytchinov made negative comments about Giles' and Nemeh's campaigns as well as sexist comments about Sunder.
"Frankly, a lot of what was said in that post was not accurate," Doytchinov said. "I did make a couple of statements I regret."
He said that he has spoken with Sunder and apologized, and that she has accepted his apology.
In his official statement, he encouraged the student body to continue following the election and stay informed about the issues each candidate represents.
“In particular, though, I encourage everyone to check out the impressive credentials and ideas of Lavanya Sunder, with whom I've has the pleasure and honor of working for over a year, and whose experience, drive and vision combine to make her in my opinion the best choice,” Doytchinov wrote. “Lastly, while I actually support the principle of student allocation and would like to see a well-though-out pilot program implemented, I encourage the student body to think very carefully about the 40 Percent Plan Amendment.”
The DSG election will be held March 4. The ballot will also include voting for the Executive Vice President and the Student Organization Funding Committee Chair. Additionally, the 40 Percent Plan will be put to vote.