Either an indication of how busy the local balllot's going to be this election, or that there are a lot of eager beavers out there, three more names have been added to the rolls for the 2014 Municipal election. As per the Guelph Votes website, three people have added themselves to October 27 election, including two for mayor and one for city council.
The mayoral race is promising to be a competitive one as we're two days into the race and already three names are up for the part. This morning, John Legere joined the previously announced Cam Guthrie in the bid to take the mayor's chair, and this afternoon Nicholas A. Ross filed his papers to become number three. Both entrants were confirmed on Guelph Votes. Legere has never served in political office before, but he does seem to have an active social media presence and shared a few words with the Guelph Mercury. As for Ross, there's not much information to be found about him online, and Guelph Votes lists a number for texting purposes only. Ross didn't respond to the Mercury's request for an interview.
In the council race, the first new name to put herself on the ballot is also an old one. Cathy Downer, who was a city councillor from 1994 to 2006, is aiming to get her old job back and run for a fifth term as Ward 5 city councillor. Since leaving office, Downer has been volunteering in the community and served as Returning Officer with Elections Ontario for Guelph for the past two years. Downer says she's running to play a leadership role in the city and to encourage more civic engagement amongst citizens.
"I am looking forward to meeting with residents and groups in the months leading up to the October election to hear what they have to say about living in Guelph, their views of City Hall and their thoughts on local issues," she said in a press release. "I will also be engaging constituents in discussions about expectations of their ward representatives, primarily in terms of communication and how as an elected Councillor I can assist and empower them to participate in our local government."
In the four previous elections she ran in, Downer finished first each time. Her last election in 2003 was highly competitive, with her and Lise Burcher nearly evenly splitting 50 per cent of the vote, with only a 39 vote difference between them. Downer will once again face off against Burcher, the only other person to file her candidacy for city council, this fall.
With the weekend here, we won't get any new nominations for the next couple of days. It will be interesting to see if there are any more candidates who step up come Monday, or if five names in two days as an anomaly.