The upcoming municipal election will be the biggest the City has ever seen in terms of the number of candidates running for office.
On Nomination Day, which took place on Monday, 30 people filed their nomination papers to formally announce their intention to run for City council and five candidates are vying for the mayor’s chair. In terms of school board there are 14 people running for public school trustee and seven running for Catholic school trustee.
Candidates for mayor include William Horn, Cindy Jefferies, Chad Mason, Dennis Trepanier and Tara Veer.
Candidates for City council include Jerry Anderson, Bettylyn Baker, Terry Balgobin, Bob Bevins, Buck Buchanan (incumbent), Matt Chapin, Steve Coop, Garry Didrikson, Serge Gingras, Calvin Goulet-Jones, Tanya Handley, Paul Harris (incumbent), David Helm, Lloyd Erland Johnson, Ken Johnston, Timothy Lasiuta, Lawrence Lee, Dan McKenna, Victor Mobley, Dennis Moffat, Dawna Morey, Lynne Mulder (incumbent), Ben Ordman, Janella Spearing, Troy Wavrecan, Jonathan Wieler, Frank Wong (incumbent), Dianne Wyntjes (incumbent), Darren Young and Calvin Yzerman.
Veer said it was an exciting moment to file her nomination papers to run for the mayor’s chair.
“I’ve just been really reflecting back on the past nine years of council and it’s been a great nine years and I am so excited and looking forward to the opportunity if Red Deer gives me that mandate,” she said. “It’s an honour to file papers for this office and you run your race and you do the best you can but ultimately the decision rests with the public.
“Things have been going well. I have a strong team and a great group of volunteers who have supported me for many, many years and who have certainly stepped it up. I can’t ask for the campaign to go any better.”
Jefferies added her campaign team has been working hard and she is glad nomination day has come.
“It’s one more step along the way and it feels really good,” she said. “I am amazed every day at the volunteers. A lot of the legwork has been done and we’re out door knocking now and enjoying meeting people in their homes and neighbourhoods. We’ve been connecting and opening up the communication lines.”
In addition, Morey, candidate for City council said her campaign has gone well so far.
“I think the reception has been absolutely phenomenal. I think people are really wanting to become informed,” she said.
Mobley also said it feels good to be an official candidate.
“So far everything has been going well. People have been very positive and they like to see a new face and someone who is younger running,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting out there knocking on doors and getting to talk to people.”
Buchanan added it is always exciting to file his nomination papers.
“Silly season starts now,” he said. “I am really looking forward to the forums. I love communicating with people and listening to what they have to say.”
Lee said anytime he has the chance to participate in the political process is an exciting thing.
“I feel like my campaign has some good momentum and has some good legs behind it and only time will tell,” he said.
Harris said he is looking forward to the last 27 days of the campaign.
“I’m thrilled that people are running and I’m inviting people to have honest conversations about what our community needs because I feel strongly that what we talk about will become our reality,” he said. “I want to see everybody participating and really talking about what matters to them.”
In addition to the candidates on the ballot, residents will also have the opportunity to have their say on a potential ward system via a plebiscite.
A number of election forums are set to be held. A forum at the Golden Circle will take place Oct. 2 from 6:30 – 9 p.m. A forum focused on construction, development and real estate will be held Oct. 9 at the Red Deer Lodge from 6:30 – 9 p.m.
A special forum regarding wards versus at-large electoral systems will take place Oct. 7 at the iHotel on 67 St. at 5:30 p.m. A health forum will be held Oct. 10 at the Harvest Centre from 7 – 9 p.m. and the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce forum is set to take place Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Harvest Centre.
Two forums for mayoral candidates will also take place and include Oct. 3 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Snell Auditorium in the Red Deer Public Library downtown and Oct. 8 from 7 – 9 p.m. at City Centre Stage.
Meanwhile, candidates for school board also filed their nomination papers on Monday.
Running for the public school board are Bill Christie, Shari Hanson, Kerri Kenworthy, Lianne Kruger, Dick Lemke, Dianne Macaulay, Bev Manning, Ben Ordman, Cathy Peacocke, Kurt Spady, Bill Stuebing, Jim Watters, Milt Williams and Raymond Yaworski.
Running for the Catholic school board are David Bouchard, Murray Hollman, Adriana LaGrange, Cory Litzenberger, Guy Pelletier, Brandie Towers and Anne Marie Watson.
There will be two forums for the school trustees, both on Oct. 8 starting at 7 p.m. The forum for the public school trustees will be held at Hunting Hills High School and the forum for the Catholic school trustees will be held at the Pomeroy Inn and Suites at Olds College.