The race for the three open seats on the D200 Board of Education has narrowed to six candidates after electronic trader Stephen Schuler announced Monday his withdrawal from the April election campaign. 

“After further consideration of the talented slate of candidates, in addition to several other personal and professional factors, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy for District 200,” Schuler said in a statement.

The announcement leaves a wide opening for those other candidates. Schuler, who along with his wife, Mary Jo, founded the firm Global Electronic Trading Co., was arguably the most formidably financed candidate in the race.

He also didn’t want for community bona fides. He and his wife have established a strong reputation as two of the area’s most generous philanthropists, donating hundreds of thousands to local entities focused especially on education, sustainability and the parks. 

In 2010, Mary Jo Schuler described the couple’s approach to giving as “venture philanthropy,” which entails “new-age donors who want to invest their philanthropic dollars in a manner that positively impacts the delivery of services and the advancement of organizations and people.” 

“Stephen and I don’t give philanthropically to feel warm and fuzzy inside,” she said. “[But] to impact change and contribute to a vibrant community.”

In his withdrawal statement, Stephen Schuler said that his exiting the political stage doesn’t mean he’ll exit the stage of community involvement. 

“My withdrawal from the race doesn’t meant that I love the community any less nor does it mean that I will suspend my involvement in dedicating volunteer time and resources toward serving and driving progress,” he wrote. 

Schuler could not be reached for comment by press time. 

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