It’s election season here in Guelph! The nominations are open for this fall’s Municipal Election, and interested residents are filing their papers to run for positions as mayor, for city council and for a spot on one of the local school boards. Each week, this space will break down who’s new to the race, who’s running again, and where we’re still waiting for someone to show an interest!
Mayor Cam Guthrie became the first member of the current council to formally announce their re-election bid this week. It’s been long known that Guthrie will seek a third-term this fall with Guthrie telling Guelph Today in December that, “I absolutely love this role. I love helping people. I love trying to make our city better and better every single day. I’d really like to give it another go for another term if the voters will have me.”
In 2018, Guthrie easily achieved re-election with 66.57 per cent of the vote against first-time municipal candidate Aggie Mlynarz, who was also the Guelph NDP candidate in provincial election that same year. Guthrie and Mlynarz were the only two candidates running for mayor in 2018, compared to the seven candidates that ran in 2014 where Guthrie won his first term as mayor with 50.75 per cent and beating the incumbent Mayor Farbridge, who only secured 36.57 per cent of the vote.
As previously reported, the week has seen at least one member of the current council to announce their retirement. Ward 4 Councillor Mike Salisbury posted on his website Monday that he would not be seeking re-election this fall, and he’ll instead be joining Ward 1 Councillor Bob Bell in making the current council term their last.
The very first person to file their papers to run in Guelph in 2022 was Thai Mac, who owns a local marketing firm and is well-known for his “Caught in Guelph” Facebook page and other social media endeavours. Mac will run in the new Ward 1, which is now all areas east of Victoria Road.
It’s already a race in Ward 1 because on Friday Erin Caton filed her election papers. Caton is an accessibility advocate and member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee who recently delegated to council on the topic of using electronic ballot marking to make the election more accessible. Caton is also a local business owner and is chair of the Environmental Sensitivities Coalition of Canada.
The other person that filed their nominations papers this week is Ken Yee Chew. Chew, who seems to be a masters student at the University of Guelph and an assistant urban designer at the City of Brampton, is running in Ward 6.
After one week there are only four declared candidates, and none of them were in any of the local school boards. There are so far no declared candidates in Wards 2, 3, 4 and 5.
In terms of the present council, there are still 10 people who have yet to reveal their plans for this fall. In a recent episode of Open Sources Guelph, Ward 2 Councillor Rodrigo Goller said that he intends to run for re-election in the newly redistricted Ward 2, but the fate of many of his colleagues is still up in the air.
The deadline for applying to run for mayor, city council, or any of the school board positions is August 19 at 2 pm. Election Day is October 24.