Karen Papouchado, Republican Filing (copy)

Karen Papouchado entered the race for Aiken City Council District 3 last week.

One of the earliest to seek the Aiken City Council District 3 seat is now the first to drop out.

Karen Papouchado, a Republican, on Wednesday said she was withdrawing as a candidate.

Aiken County Republican Party Chairman Bob Brookshire said Papouchado had verbally informed him of the move. A written notification was expected.

Papouchado filed as a candidate July 2, one day after the filing period opened. In a written statement, Papouchado explained she initially filed out of concern — because no one else immediately stepped up, she did.

"So I stepped forward, certainly willing to act in that capacity again, but also to show that Aikenites believe in the integrity of the process of choosing leaders who can best address local issues," Papouchado wrote. She represented the third district from 1992 to 2000.

District 3 is on the city's western flank. It resembles a rough "C," encompassing areas near Richland Avenue and the bypass.

Even with Papouchado's retreat, the District 3 candidate field is still relatively crowded. Three Republicans and one Democrat remain.

Papouchado said she plans "to support" Kay Biermann Brohl, the last Republican to file.

"She has the knowledge and experience to help guide Aiken into a most interesting future," Papouchado wrote in the same statement.

City Council comprises seven members. Six are elected to represent single-member districts, and the mayor is elected at large.

Three seats on City Council are up for grabs this year: mayor as well as districts 1 and 3. The third district is currently represented by City Council member Dick Dewar, who is not seeking reelection.

Voters living in Aiken's first district will vote for two people: one for mayor, one for District 1. Voters living in Aiken's third district will vote for two people, as well: one for mayor, one for District 3. All city voters can vote in the mayoral race.

The candidate filing period closed at noon Monday.

Municipal party primaries and conventions are scheduled for Aug. 13. Runoffs, if necessary, will be Aug. 27.

The general election will be held Nov. 5. The last day to register to vote in the general election is Oct. 7.

Colin Demarest is the government and Savannah River Site reporter with the Aiken Standard. Follow him on Twitter: @demarest_colin