If you're still hung over from the New Year's festivities. sober up(!) because the 2014 Municipal Election is officially underway as of today. Today was the first day that potential candidates could file papers to run for mayor or city councillor in the October 27th election, and both here in Guelph and in Toronto, some early birds were hoping that they have what it takes to get the worm.
Obviously, all eyes were on Toronto City Hall this morning as Rob Ford followed though on his promise to be the first in line to register, and he was. Along with handing in his paperwork, Ford announced that his brother Doug would be his campaign manager. Doug Ford, currently an Etobicoke city councillor, had previously stated that he was not standing for re-election, reportedly having an eye on higher office at the provincial level. No other members of the campaign team have been named.
In a rare moment, Ford even stopped to answered reporter questions saying, “I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing — is watching every dime that’s being spent.” He then added, “Promises made were promises kept.” Later on Newstalk 1010, he walked back comments that he would limit the number of all-candidates debates he would participate in saying that he's eager to debate immediately.
Closer to home, a well-known Guelph politician threw his hat in the ring for higher office. To the surprise of few, current Ward 4 Councillor Cam Guthrie made his pitch to be the next mayor of the City of Guelph. "The most common observation I hear ... is that we could do better, and I could not agree more," said Guthrie told a group of supporters at a rally outside the Zehrs on Elmira Rd. "On October 27 a better Guelph will become a reality if you give me your support."
So far, Guthrie is the only person to put papers in for any race according to the GuelphVotes website. Guthrie released a statement on New Year's Eve inviting people to an event to "announce [his] 2014 Municipal Election intentions," and the immediate thought of many local politicos was that Guthrie was officially announcing his candidature for mayor, a move that many in Guelph who like Guthrie's populist message were pushing for. In the 2010 Ward 4 election Guthrie finished first with nearly 32 per cent of the vote, which was just over 400 votes more than his fellow Ward 4 councillor, the incumbent Gloria Kovach.
No word yet on whether or not current mayor Karen Farbridge intends to stand for re-election.
UPDATED: According to GuelphVotes, Lise Burcher has officially register her candidacy to run for re-election in Ward 5.