Six candidates have officially filed papers indicating they are running for mayor of Red Deer in the next municipal election.
That is almost — but not quite — a record. The number ties with the six mayoral candidates that ran in the municipal election of 1974, which was the biggest field of potential mayors in the city’s history, returning officer Samantha Rodwell said recently.
Not far behind was the election of 2013 when Tara Veer pulled ahead in a pack of five mayoral candidates to be elected into the City of Red Deer’s top office.
This year’s contenders for mayor are (unofficial list as posted on city website): James Allen, a former cadet who’s held various jobs, retired police officer Buck Buchanan (incumbent), businessman Dwight Hickey, retired banker Ken Johnston (incumbent), former oilfield supervisor Brad Magee, and electrician and entrepreneur Jeremy Moore.
Nominations closed Monday at noon.
Candidates are given 24 hours from the close of nominations to withdraw their nomination, so long as enough candidates remain to fulfill the role. The candidate list will be finalized at noon on Tuesday.
There are 30 city council candidates listed on city’s election website as of Monday afternoon: Graham Barclay, Kraymer Barnstable, Bruce Buruma, Brenda Campbell, Calvin Campbell, Matt Chapin, Stephen (Steve) Coop, Craig Curtis, Michael Dawe (incumbent), Victor Doerksen, Grace Joy Engel, Sarah Harksen, Vesna Higham (incumbent), Hans Huizing, Cindy Jeffries, Sadia Khan, Chad Krahn, Ryan Andrew Laloge, Lindsay LaRocque, Lawrence Lee (incumbent), Nicole (Nikki) Lydiard, Jason MacDonald, Jozef Mihaly, Liam Milaney, Sheyi Olubowale, Harish Ratra, Janise Somer, Lisa Spencer-Cook, Dax Williams and Dianne Wyntjes (incumbent).
Thirty candidates also ran for council in 2013 and in 2017 there were 29 council candidates, Rodwell said earlier this month.
Contenders for a public school board trustee seat are: Nicole Buchanan (incumbent), Matt Chapin, Nathan Davies, Kari Elliott, Matt Gould, Terri Grills, Dianne Macaulay (incumbent), Bev Manning (incumbent), Meagan Parisian, Cathy Peacocke (incumbent), Paul Peters, Angela Kathleen Sommers, Mark Swarek, Jaelene Tweedle, Reg Warkentin and Jim Watters.
Catholic school trustee contenders are: Sharla Heistad (incumbent), Murray Hollman (incumbent), Monique LaGrange, Cynthia Leyson (incumbent), Dorraine Lonsdale (incumbent), Vanessa Mariani, Kim Pasula (incumbent), Fred Simoni, Anne Marie Watson (incumbent) and Robert Wiens.
The municipal election is on Oct. 18 and Rodwell is expecting good voter turn-out.
On years when the mayor’s seat has not been contested by the incumbent mayor, voter turn-out has been appreciably higher, she said — noting average turnout is 30 per cent when there’s no incumbent mayor who’s seeking re-election, compared to an average of 24 per cent when there is.