Published: May 25, 2012 6:20 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla.– Dr. Eric McKeithan has withdrawn his candidacy for District President of Edison State College.

The Cape Fear Community College president was scheduled to visit each of Edison’s four Southwest Florida locations and participate in public forums next week.

Dr. McKeithan informed Edison State of his decision to withdraw late Thursday evening in the following statement:

“Unanticipated opportunities presented themselves last evening and this morning to launch exciting new businesses with family members beginning this summer, resulting in my removing my name from further consideration in the ESC search for its next president. I wish the very best to ESC,” Dr. McKeithan said.

The three remaining finalists, Macon State College (Georgia) President Dr. Jeffery Allbritten; GateWay Community College (Arizona) President Dr. Eugene Giovannini; and Seminole State College Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Dr. Joseph Sarnovsky, will return for their final interviews next week.