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Two mayoral hopefuls jump into race

The race is on to become Red Deer’s 26th mayor.

Two mayor hopefuls have declared their intentions to run in the October 2013 municipal election.

Matt Chapin, a 26-year-old student, confirmed his intentions in October.

And Chad Mason, also 26, who works at Manor Management, recently voiced his political aspirations.

Chapin says he is no longer the little-known “Joe candidate” who first threw his hat in the mayoralty ring in 2007.

Chapin earned 559 votes when he ran for mayor in 2007. He received 1,625 votes in 2010 when he ran for city councillor and 2,439 votes for Red Deer Public School District board trustee.

“I think I have a better chance with an open field with no incumbent running,” said Chapin. “I can make a voice for myself for the younger people in the city.”

Mayor Morris Flewwelling will step down at the end of the current term after 21 years in politics.

Chapin said he would represent the needs of the younger generation in Red Deer, something he says is missing on the current council.

He said one of the issues in his platform is to change the way the city spends its money on capital projects. He noted renovations to the G.H. Dawe Community Centre were too costly and the backtracking on the bike lanes was a waste of money.

“This is a big worry,” said Chapin. “Since 2008, there has been a worldwide recession. The city, however, wants to spend more and go further in debt. That’s a concern if we keep going in debt, it will take more years to pay it off.”

Chapin has worked to increase voter turnout in past elections.

He was a member of the Red Deer Royals Marching Band and is an active community volunteer.

“I care about this city and I want to see it grow in the future,” said Chapin.

There has been speculation that veteran councillors Cindy Jefferies and Tara Veer will also vie for the top job. Jefferies said she will announce her intentions in early January while Veer has said it’s too early to start talking about the next election.

Mason was not available to comment.



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