The election year started out so excitedly with a flurry of activity, numerous candidates across several categories in just the first few weeks of the nominations being open, but since January 15 only 2 new candidates have filed their papers. What are we to make of this? Probably nothing. Looking back, as of April 14 in 2010 only 8 candidates had filed their papers, so with now 17 registered candidates on the ballot, the election year so far is already over 50 per cent more contentious. Number 17 joined the race last week, and number 18 might be warming up in the bullpen.
But if there's only one new candidate in the race for the past month, than that candidate should be at least for Ward 1. Terry O'Connor submitted his papers last Monday, and currently stands as the only person running in Ward 1. O'Connor is a recognized and accomplished labour leader and organizer in Guelph, and was formally on the Guelph and District Labour Council executive, he currently works for the United Way of Guelph-Wellington.
As for other potential candidates, a new face might join the race a week from now, but he is, really, an old face. Mike Salisbury was a city councillor in Ward 4 from 2006 to 2010, but lost in the 2010 election, finishing in fourth place behind Gloria Kovach, Cam Guthrie, and Christina Boumis.
In an invitation sent out to media, Salisbury said he plans on announcing during a MoMonday event at ebar next Monday during a talk called "How becoming a politician helped make me a better person!" "This will be a really personal look behind the scenes at why someone would choose to go into politics and what it was like to serve on our City Council," Salisbury said in the press release. "I will also be formally announcing my intention to run again as City Councillor in Ward 4."
I suspect that as the weather thaws and the season really changes, we might get more people throwing their hat into the ring, or at least seriously consider it. Over half of the current council has still yet to formally declare their intention to run again or their intention to step down; five have already filed their papers for re-election or declared their intention to run for higher office. Nominations for mayor, city council and school trustee are open till September 11.