Feb. 8, 2012 | Just as the Fremont City Council returns to full-strength following the passing of Bob Wasserman, the list of potential mayor candidates begins to shrink.

Councilman Dominic Dutra removed his name from the race for mayor this fall now likely to include his council colleagues Anu Natarajan and Bill Harrison.

“I’m not going to be running for mayor,” Dutra said shortly after the beginning of new Mayor Gus Morrison’s first meeting since being appointed to the post last month.

Dutra said he made the decision to allow more time with his family and honor a pledge he says he made not to run for mayor when he was appointed to the council to replace Bob Wieckowski, who was elected to the assembly in 2010.

“My wife and I have a great opportunity to pray and talk together about what we think is important,” said Dutra. The extra time spent at City Hall would take away from raising their children, he said, one of whom is a sophomore in high school.

“Some people think that’s a time when they don’t need you,” Dutra said. “I actually think that’s when they really do need you.”

With the addition of Morrison a modest resemblance of stability has returned to the five-person council. Morrison chose to begin his second stint as mayor seated at the far right end of the dais for symbolic reason instead of the seat traditionally placed at the center of the group.

In the meantime, Natarjan and Harrison are now left to test the competing desires inherent in any political race when two candidates strive to work together as council members will attempting to tear each other down as political opponents.