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Red Deer MLA says she won't run for mayor


Mary Anne Jablonski has put an end to rumours about her potential candidacy for Red Deer mayor.

The MLA for Red Deer North announced on Thursday that she is not running at this time.

A five-term Progressive Conservative MLA and former cabinet minister, she said she will not run in the October municipal election, choosing to stay in the legislature.

“I thought very long and very hard about this,” said Jablonski, 60. “I have a number of great friends and colleagues who have been encouraging me over the last couple of months to run for mayor.”

Jablonski cited several reasons for the decision, including her election as Red Deer North MLA in 2012, the cost of a byelection for her vacated riding to taxpayers if she were to run, that she believes a candidate must be committed to at least two terms as mayor to be effective and, while she does have property in Red Deer, she lives one block east of the city boundary.

Under the Municipal Government Act, a candidate must live within the municipality for six months prior to any election.

“I feel like I said (to my constituents), if you elect me I will serve you to the best of my ability over the next four years,” said Jablonski. “I feel like I have a contract with them and I should complete that contract.”

While Jablonski may have closed the door on her candidacy for the October 2013 municipal election, she said she may consider running for mayor in the future.

“Right now I’m loyal to the people of Red Deer North,” said Jablonski.

“Never say never.”

She would not comment on why the rumour persisted about her mayoral candidacy.

“I felt it was time to the make the decision,” said Jablonski. “I spoke to family and some close friends and colleagues and got some good advice, I thought. I told the people who have been encouraging me to run for mayor that I would still be working for the City of Red Deer.”

Jablonski has had a smaller role in government since Alison Redford was elected PC party leader. Under previous the premier, Ed Stelmach, she was minister of Seniors and Community Supports, but is no longer in cabinet.

This leaves the mayoralty race to current city councillor Cindy Jefferies and newcomer Chad Mason.

Jefferies announced on Jan. 15 that she would run. Mayor Morris Flewwelling has announced that this will be his last term.

Jablonski said while she and Jefferies don’t see eye-to-eye on several issues, she thinks the three-term city councillor is a good person.

“I think we have different points of view on things,” said Jablonski. “It’s my fiscal conservative background that probably is what other people are looking at . . . she has some different opinions than I do.”

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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