In an action for damages for the publication of a libel in a newspaper, the in a civil lawsuitplaintiff shall recover no more than special damages, unless a retraction be demanded and refused as hereinafter provided. The plaintiff shall serve upon the publisher at the principal place of publication, a notice, specifying the statements claimed to be libelous, and requesting that the same be withdrawn. If a retraction thereof be not published on the same page and in the same type and the statement headed in 18-point type or larger “RETRACTION,” as were the statements complained of, in a regular issue thereof published within one week after such service, the plaintiff may allege such notice, demand, and failure to retract in the complaint and recover both special and general damages, if the cause of action be maintained. If such retraction be so published, the plaintiff may still recover general damages, unless the defendant shall show that the libelous publication was made in good faith and under a mistake as to the facts. If the plaintiff was a candidate for office at the time of the libelous publication, no retraction shall be available unless published on the same page and in the same type and the statement headed in 18-point type or larger “RETRACTION,” as were the statements complained of, in a regular issue thereof published within one week after such service and in a conspicuous place on the editorial page, nor if the libel was published within one week next before the election. This section shall not apply to any libel imputing unchastity.