The race for Whanganui's mayoralty and district council has changed shape with one candidate withdrawing from both contests.

Rocky Alexander, a customer services advocate at Whanganui District Council, announced his candidacy back in April, the fourth person to do so after Hamish McDouall, Helen Craig and William Osborne.

But on Friday, the day nominations for the October local body elections officially opened, Mr Alexander said he was pulling out.

"For personal reasons I've since decided not to run for either the mayoralty or council. While this is something I may pursue in the future, it's currently not the right time for me or my family," he told the Chronicle.

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"I'd like to thank everyone who has offered me support since I announced that I would be standing for the mayoralty and council."

He extended his best wishes to all the candidates "who will be putting themselves forward to represent our community".

Mr Alexander (39) moved to Whanganui with his wife and two primary school, age sons to take on the front counter position at the council offices.

In April he said elections were good for bringing change to the council table and that was a factor in his decision to stand.

"I believe we need not rely solely on council management to come up with solutions. We need to go to our community more often and seek their input, their ideas. It's all about listening to the people. Our community's our bread and butter - without them we don't exist, so they must be involved."

One other person, Andy Jarden, has also entered the race.