The current cast of Kelowna city council are queuing up to take another run at political office in the Nov. 19 election.
All incumbents, except for Coun. Andre Blanleil, have now publicly signalled their intentions to run again, picking up nomination papers or issuing press releases.
Mayor Sharon Shepherd was first out of the gate, announcing earlier this month that she would run for a third term and the rest are falling in line.
The latest incumbent to signal his intentions, and pick up a nomination package from City Hall, is first-term councillor Charlie Hodge, who announced his decision to run for a second term Thursday.
“For the past three years I’ve had the honour and privilege to serve residents of Kelowna as a member of council. It’s been a lot of work, not all of it easy, but I love the job,” he said.
“I’m proud of my efforts to assist the community and hope I’m bestowed the honour of serving Kelowna folks for another term.”
Also seeking another term is Coun. Robert Hobson, who announced Wednesday he’s ready for his ninth election campaign. The perennial political favourite said it will be his last should he be elected.
Coun. Luke Stack came out of the gate, and announced his desire for another term in office earlier in the week, saying he’s enthusiastic about the many initiatives council is currently working on, such as implementing the new Downtown Plan, designing a long-term plan for Kelowna Police and Protective Services, constructing the new Seniors Centre, and planning a new recreation park in Glenmore.
“These projects are crucial for the wellbeing of Kelowna residents, and I believe we can negotiate a way to accomplish them while keeping property taxes in check,” he said.
Another first-time councillor, Graeme James, has also picked up a nomination papers, for the upcoming election, as have Couns. Michele Rule and Kevin Craig. Angela Reid-Nagy has said she will run again.
While picking up a package is the first big step in the election process, city clerk Stephen Fleming pointed out that there’s a big difference between getting the paperwork and going through with the process.
“We had 64 individuals pick up one or more packages in 2008—five mayor; 51 councillor and 15 school trustee packages went out—while the ballot had two mayoral, 36 councillor and 10 school trustee names on it,” he said.
Other people who have picked up packages and have allowed their names to be public include:
Diana Van Beest
Scott A. Ross