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!
Two more incumbents added their names to the fall ballot this week, and they’re the former business partners of The Boardroom board game cafe downtown, Mark MacKinnon and Rodrigo Goller.
MacKinnon will be appealing to the voters in Ward 6 for a third term after coming out of the gate hot in his first election in 2018 with 33.46 per cent of the vote and unseating the incumbent Todd Dennis who came in third place with 17.97 per cent. In 2018, MacKinnon secured re-election with 27.75 per cent, which was at least 10 points better than his nearest competition, Stacy Cooper. MacKinnon has established himself as a no-nonsense centrist voice on council with a strong focus on local issues and tangible results.
Goller, meanwhile, is one of the two rookies in this term of council (the other being MacKinnon’s wardmate, Dominique O’Rourke). In 2018, he finished a close second behind James Gordon to secure the second seat in Ward 2 with 27.74 per cent of the vote, and succeeding the retiring Andy Van Hellemond around the horseshoe. As a city councillor, Goller has made himself a community advocate, and a conduit for constituents’ concerns to City staff on important issues at meetings.
In addition to the two incumbents, there were four new candidates who filed their nomination papers this week creating races in Ward 4 and Ward 2, while expanding the race in the Ward 1.
With an open seat in Ward 4, there should be a lot of interest in running in Guelph’s west end, and this week there were two people who expressed said interest starting on Monday with Hitesh Jagad. Jagad is the co-owner of Kirtida Kitchen, a successful Indian restaurant on Eramosa, and he’s been very active in the community sponsoring free skates at the West End Rec Centre, and free meals at the Bench.
The other candidate running in Ward 4 is Adrian Salvatore. Not much is known about Salvatore, but there is an ADRIANO Salvatore with Facebook page thay didn’t offer a lot of insight except that he was once a student at the University of Guelph. Council observers also might have recognized that name as one of the delegates speaking in favour of the Downtown Dining District on his own behalf.
Running against Goller in Ward 2 is Rob Osburn, who’s a producer and director at BNR Media Group, a video and digital media company that specializes in commercial and corporate promotions. One of BNR’s projects is the webseries Royal City Stories, which focus on the good works of Guelph individuals, groups and businesses and is hosted by current Ward 1 Councillor Dan Gibson.
Speaking of Ward 1, Denese Renaud has filed to become the third person running in that race. There are a couple of options if you Google the name “Denese Renaud”, but it seems likely that the Denese running for office is the well-known community advocate who’s been dedicated to raising awareness about addiction and mental health issues in Guelph while promoting more support for those people in need.
Thai Mac and Erin Canton are the two previously announced candidates running in Ward 1, and Ken Yee Chew filed his papers to run in Ward 6 late last week.
So far, no one has filed to run for any of the local school board positions. There have also yet to be any candidates for councillor in either Ward 3 or Ward 5.
So far, MacKinnon, Goller and Mayor Cam Guthrie are the only current members of council to have filed their nominations papers. Ward 1 Councillor Bob Bell and Ward 4 Councillor Mike Salisbury have both announced their intention to retire from city council at the end of this term.
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.