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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

who will run for mayor of edmonton in 2010?

With Edmonton's next municipal election less than a year and a half away (and new Ward Boundaries up for debate) one of the big questions looming is whether Stephen Mandel will seek a third term as Mayor. Mandel has hinted in the past that he would only serve two terms in the Mayor's office, but if his two immediate predecessors are any indication, it is likely that he might seek a third term. Although I’m not sure if Mandel would face a serious challenger if he does run for re-election, his absence from the 2010 race could draw some interesting candidates into the contest. While no one has yet to declare their candidacy, here are some of the names that I’ve heard mentioned:

Karen Leibovici: A seasoned political veteran after serving three-terms on as a Councillor for Ward 1 (2001-present) and two-terms as the MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark (1993-2001), Leibovici is well positioned to compete for the Mayor's chair. While her background in social work and time as a Liberal MLA solidified her centre-left credentials, Leibovici has played the role of Council fiscal hawk on more than one occasion (including joining with former right-wing Councillor Mike Nickel to vote against the Universal Bus Pass in 2007). Her credentials in Edmonton's established political community also put her in a strong position to gain the support of many of Mandel's organizers, which means her candidacy many depend on whether the current Mayor decides to seek a third term.

Linda Sloan: Also a Councillor for Ward 1 and former Edmonton-Riverview MLA (1997-2001), Sloan could be a strong candidate for Mayor. Her background as a nurse and former President of the Staff Nurses Association would likely ensure her campaign strong support from the City's public sector unions. While her passion for seniors and emergency services issues has gained her notoriety, Sloan’s passion can sometimes be the source of tension between herself and fellow Councillors. During last year’s budget debates, Ward 5 Councillor Bryan Anderson infamously muttered the words "Jesus, Linda. Shut up, please" during one of those tense moments. Her seat at the head table with Michael Ignatieff at his recent Edmonton fundraising dinner have fueled rumours of a potential candidacy for the Federal Liberals in Edmonton-Centre.

Kim Krushell: After working as Executive Assistant to Councillor Larry Langley, Krushell was elected to her first term on Council in 2004. Since then she has been closely identified with Edmonton's Next Gen committee and was Council's point-person on the Universal Bus Pass (media-savvy Krushell could also be counted as the Councillor most likely to get media exposure on a weekly basis). While it may be easy to dismiss Krushell’s chances, it would be a mistake to confuse her enthusiasm for a lack of political savvy. A long-time PC Party member, Krushell endorsed Jim Dinning for the PC leadership in 2006 and could potentially call on her partisan connections to help her campaign in a potential contest against two former Liberal MLAs.

Wild Cards:

The ‘Airport’ candidate: As I wrote in an earlier blog post, with the City Centre Airport (ECCA) issue coming to a head around the time of the next municipal election, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Alberta Enterprise Group (AEG) use this as a springboard to front a candidate for Mayor. Who would take this mantle? The AEG originated from the organization created to provide financial backing to Mark Norris’ unsuccessful campaign for the PC leadership in 2006, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see this group support an attempted political comeback by the former Edmonton-McClung PC MLA. Another potential ‘Airport’ candidate could be current Ward 3 Councillor and staunch defender of the ECCA, Tony Caterina.

Robert Noce: After trying twice for Mayor in 2001 and 2004, a vacancy in the Mayor's chair could convince Noce that third time's a charm. While the former Ward 3 Councillor (1995-2001) has stayed away from official politics, Noce has represented local developers in a number of cases, including the controversial high rise condo development in Glenora in 2008. Noce was rumoured to be interested in the Edmonton-East Liberal candidacy before the 2004 federal election, and more recently I have heard (questionable) chatter that he is interested in seeking the Conservative nomination when five-term Conservative MP Peter Goldring retires.

Don Koziak: After placing a distant second with 25% of the vote in 2007s thoroughly uncompetitive Mayoral race, I would imagine that the Team Koziak will be unlikely to re-start their engines if the contest attracts a stronger field of candidates in 2010. Koziak, the owner of the Chateau Louis Hotel was an unsuccessful Ward 2 candidate in 1995, 1998, and 2004. In 2000, Koziak was the PC candidate in Edmonton-Calder before withdrawing his candidacy for personal reasons.

Mike Nickel: Where in the world is former Councillor Mike Nickel? Gone into self-imposed political exile after being unseated by Don Iveson in 2007, the former Stickman, one-term Councillor, and two-time Mayoral candidate (1998 and 2001) has dropped off the political radar. Three years may be too soon for Nickel to mount a political comeback, but the new proposed Ward boundary changes could make a City Hall comeback much easier for Nickel.

Brian Mason: Ok, I’ll admit that this is an unlikely scenario. Though the leader of Alberta's NDP probably won't run for Mayor, with the name recognition earned after two decades as a Councillor (1989-2000) and MLA (2000-present), Mason would make an interesting entry into the race. His victory would be long-shot, but his departure from the Legislature would open a door in Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood for some new blood for Alberta's third-place party (Deron Bilous or Janice Melnychuk could make convincing candidates) and would allow for heir-apparent and well-spoken co-caucus mate Rachel Notely to take the helm of the tiny Alberta NDP caucus.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

The NDP won't put one of their two seats at risk in a by-election. From what I've heard, Mason wants to stay on as party leader through at least one more provincial election (2011/2012). Given the status of the Liberals and the increased attention Brian and Rachel have drawn of late, why wouldn't he? He might yet end up as leader of the Official Opposition.

Anonymous said...

Mark Norris? Or is that your airport candidate?

Anonymous said...

I heard a lot of the same names too. Mason would be a game changer. He has served his constituents well but the ND would go much futher under a younger and charismatic leader like Rachel Notley. It’s too bad ND members won’t jettison the leader that led them to lose half their seats in 2008.

Christine said...

Three women as the top contenders!? That would be a nice change!

andy grabia said...

If an 'Airport' candidate, why not an 'anti-arena' candidate? Oh please, Lord, for the sake of my sanity, let there be one out there.

Anonymous said...

Leibovici versus Sloan versus Krushell would be an election race for the history books.

Dole said...

andy: which of these candidates listed is anti-arena?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 10:16

You're assuming Notley wants to be leader. I've heard from a number of sources that she has no interest in the leadership until her children are older.

Rachel becoming leader would also be bad news for democracy in the Alberta NDP, and would effectively hand control of the party to Lou Arab. Who, as he has put it on his Facebook profile, considers himself to be the Karl Rove of the NDP

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so “ANTI-ARENA?” A new downtown arena would be great for the Edmonton Oilers and would be great for Edmonton and downtown. Instead of joining the socialist Bronconnier bandwagon from Calgary Edmonton should be friendly to the business community. Keep the downtown airport open and build an arena downtown. The business community keeps Edmonton strong. The socialists will make Edmonton into another Winnipeg or Regina.

Mona said...

No Don speculation? :)
I want to see Janice Melnychuk in office! She would be amazing I want it to happen!

Mona said...

I mean provincially :)

Rob P. said...

Go Mona! Janice Melnychuk should become NDP leader! Stong woman with a record as an outspoken school trustee and city councillor. Janice would kick the NDP into gear in Alberta!

hatrock said...

Mike Nickel? Not bloody likely.

Lou Arab said...

Anon 11:26 - Nowhere on my Facebook profile (or anywhere) have I ever said I consider myself to be 'the Karl Rove of the Alberta NDP.'

Anonymous said...

What a terrible insult! At least Karl Rove won a few elections.

To the earlier poster who blamed Mason for losing 2 seats, please remember that it was Mason as leader in the 2004 campaign when the NDP grew to those 4 seats.

The real difference, as illustrated elsewhere, has been the ND staff. After hitting a high water mark with 4 seats they made the bizarre decision to clear house. If they don't rebound in the next election then that was clearly the wrong move.

Mona said...

They also failed to dedicate sufficient resources to Dave Eggen in the last election.

Freddy said...

No Don Iveson odds? Or is he waiting to pick up the pieces after Swann?

Denny said...

Lou Arab referring to himself as Karl Rove, may have been sarcastic. But we all know he likes to think it. Even if that's not what he thinks, it's how he acts.

Either way, Lou did it, and then lies about it. He doesn't even attempt to claim he was sarcastic when he said it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38819928@N06/3568169397/

Poor Lou, I wonder if he'll go and try to convince some of his henchmen on the ANDP Executive to try to move to remove me from the Executive or revoke my party membership again, which would violate the party constitution, but we all know Lou doesn't believe in the party constitution if it impedes his own goals.

Lou Arab said...

Wow Denny, you took a snap shot of my facebook page?? That's seriously creepy.

Denny said...

Actually someone sent it to me, since I can't see your links. But I've seen it before when other people showed it to me.

You have no problems with sharing what I write on Facebook or anywhere else, so I figured you wouldn't have a problem sharing what you posted.
Then again, double standards are nothing new to you, are they?

D said...

Jesus Christ Denny, do you have no shame at all? Just how miserable and pathetic are you?

Your own screen shot shows Lou didn't lie, yet you post it and show the world you obviously cyber-stalk the guy looking for things to post on a blog about him.

Oh, and the part from the snap you cropped was Lou saying "I admit I'm getting tired of this."

How does this make you look reasonable?

Anonymous said...

At least Denny isn't some forty some year old man, who's so afraid of how much value a number of people in the ANDP put on the opinions of some twenty year old kid, and so afraid he may loose some of the tiny little bit of influence he holds in NDP land, that he'll do everything in his power to have staff members harass the kid and others.

How insecure and pathetic is Lou?

Lou Arab said...

Actually Denny, I do have a problem sharing my Facebook page, and I don't mind admitting it. I keep my Facebook settings private because I'm married to a public figure and I don't want anyone other than friends and family looking at snapshots of my kids. We live a pretty public life, but I take care to carve out a little privacy.

Sorry if you take issue with that.

Denny said...

Oh, I understand completly why you leave your profile on private, and I have no problem with it. It's something any responsible parent should do, not just someone married to a public figure.

Are you really surprised that someone shared comments you made about me with me though?

Anonymous said...

Its funny how half the Alberta Liberal Party is on Edmonton City Council

Anonymous said...

I'm going with Denny. Seriously, going at guy who is 21? Complaining its creepy to take a screenshot of something on somebodys facebook page despite taking the individuals comments and spreading those around.... Go Denny!

Anyway, no mention of Bill Whatcott? With the passing of Bill-44 come on who better to come out of the wood work and run for Mayor again.

Kevin Aschim said...

I disagree with Mayor Mandell more than I agree with him. But his strength of character and general effectiveness more than makes up for his positions on issues.

Best mayor we have had in decades. I hope he runs again.

kinch said...

Lou,

You've worked in the communications field for a long time, haven't you? Have you ever heard of the term saving face? I suggest you read up on it.