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Friday, October 12, 2007

edmonton election 2007: the wrath of ward 6.

Edmonton's Ward 6 covers the entire southeast section (Mill Woods) of Edmonton and includes some of the most ethnically diverse areas of the City. Not shying away from its reputation for delivering raucous election campaigns, Ward 6 presents an interesting race for 2007.

With the overdue retirement of long-time Councillor Terry Cavanagh (who was appointed and defeated as Mayor two-times since first being elected to Council in 1971), there are no shortage of candidates lining up for the challenge of representing Ward 6.

Incumbent Dave Theile, who was first elected in 1998, is seeking re-election. Though I like Theile's easy-going style, he may be reaching the point of getting too comfortable in his City Council chair. Hopefully he won't fall victim to the 'big chair syndrome' if he is re-elected on Monday.

Two of the main challengers lined up are Chinwe Okelu and Amarjeet Sohi, and both are in a dog fight with each other after mounting very strong campaigns (and both aren't shying away from their partisan connections to help them over the top - Okelu as a Liberal and Sohi as a New Democrat).

Okelu, who has run in Ward 6 in 1998, 2001, and 2004, placed a very strong third in 2004 against Cavanagh. This is Sohi's second run at Ward 6, having placed a strong fourth in 2004.

I've met both candidates a number of times and though both would be effective advocates for Ward 6, I've been particularly impressed with Amarjeet Sohi's work with Public Interest Alberta.

With both of the main challengers holding decent name recognition, boasting strong teams and platforms, and campaigning hard I wouldn't be surprised if either of them won (or if both of them won).

The 'other interesting candidates' category includes Lori Jeffery Heaney who is a former Councillor from the Summer Village of Val Quentin and right-wing 'Mike Nickel' candidate Chuck McKenna.

2007 Candidates
Lori Jeffery-Heaney
Chuck McKenna
Chinwe Okelu
Amarjeet Sohi
Dave Thiele*
Tomas Dennis Vasquez

2004 Election Results
Dave Thiele - 16,128
Terry Cavanagh - 14,725
Chinwe Okelu - 12,877
Amarjeet Sohi - 8,077
Barbara Ann Thompson - 6,339
Terry McKinnon - 2,908
Sean Diakiw - 1,013

Facebook Count
Friends of Chinwe Okelu - 19 members
Elect Amarjeet Sohi for Ward 6 Councillor - 80 members


Anonymous said...

Either of those men would make good city councillors, however I do have reservations about Mr. Okelu.

On the Shaw TV forum, Mr. Okelu made a generalized comment about the EPS being overly corrupt. While the EPS has had several incidents worthy of concern, I do not think accusing the entire force of corruption is appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Chinwe Okelu thinks he's a leader. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to have much in the way of substantial ideas.

He's a nice enough guy, I'm sure, but Amarjeet Sohi is a much better candidate.