Thursday, October 01, 2009

Municipal roundup

The final lists of nominated candidates for next month's municipal elections are in from Regina and Saskatoon. And there are a few interesting notes based on the last set of contestants to enter the field.

In Regina, the mayoralty race will once again feature three candidates, as Linda White has joined the race against Pat Fiacco and Jim Elliott. It remains to be seen whether either of the challengers will be able to develop much traction, but it's certainly for the best to have a few different perspectives on the city's direction.

Meanwhile, there were also a few noteworthy developments in the council races:

- In Ward 8, Donna Standingready is mostly emphasizing her strong work resume with the provincial government and the First Nations Family Support Centre in challenging Michael O'Donnell. But she also brings a long history of involvement in the Saskatchewan NDP which made her one of Dwain Lingenfelter's named leadership endorsers.

- In Ward 10, the already-crowded race featuring incumbent Jerry Flegel and Chris Szarka now also includes Michael Cassona, whose resume includes the presidency of the Regina Multicultural Association among other community involvement.

- The Ward 1 race won't be quite as crowded as the one in 2006, but both Shawn Kuster and Andy Asherbranner look to be mounting noteworthy challenges to incumbent Louis Browne.

As a whole, the election will feature only two acclamations for Council positions, meaning that Regina voters will have plenty of opportunity to chart the city's course. Candidate bios for the mayoralty, council, and public and separate school board races are available on the City's website.

Likewise in Saskatoon, there looks to be a fairly strong set of races overall: the three acclaimed council positions are balanced out in part by multi-challenger races in Wards 2, 8 and 10, while Lenore Swystun's official entry into the mayoralty race will make her one of four challengers to Don Atchison.

In sum, it looks like we're in for a lively month of municipal campaigning. But we'll have to stay tuned to find out what that will mean for the direction of Saskatchewan's two largest cities in the long run.

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