All but one member of the current council have confirmed their names will appear on the 2018 municipal election ballot. But Coun. Fred Haynes declined to say whether he is running for mayor or one of the eight spots for councillors.
“I will make that announcement at an appropriate time, and I look forward to the privilege of serving the residents of Saanich for an additional term,” said Haynes.
Only Coun. Dean Murdock, who garnered the most votes during the 2014 municipal election with 14,781 votes, is still deciding whether to seek re-election. Murdock first joined council in 2008, winning re-election in 2011 and 2014.
“I feel very fortunate that the voters have given me three terms on Saanich [council],” he said. “I am discussing running for a fourth term with my family and will make my decision as the election gets closer.”
These comments come after Couns. Susan Brice, Judy Brownoff, Karen Harper, Colin Plant, Vicki Sanders and Leif Wergeland have told the Saanich News that they plan to seek re-election on Oct. 20 when British Columbians elect new mayors, councillors and regional representatives.
These statements come against the backdrop of politicians across the region announcing their plans for the 2018 municipal election.
Victoria’s Mayor Lisa Helps announced Monday that she would seek re-election, while Saanich’s Mayor Richard Atwell confirmed his earlier stated intention to run again.
He also predicted that the council elected in October will look quite different from the current one.
“I expect there will be many candidates vying for the eight council positions,” he said. “Last general election nine incumbents ran, and six were re-elected. I predict that the public will elect at least three new council members in 2018.”
Atwell, for his part, did not say which of the current councillors he does not expect to return. Nor did he say who would replace them, or who might run against him as mayor. “Who won’t be back is up to the electorate,” he said. “Who might run against me is just hearsay at this point.”
Murdock — whose current position perhaps gives him the most neutral perspective — said a lot can change over the next month when asked about Atwell’s prediction.
“I suspect we will see a highly competitive election for [council] and the mayor’s position,” he said. “There were a few excellent candidates in last year’s byelection, who I expect will mount strong campaigns in the October election. They would be welcome additions to [council].”
They will also face nine familiar names on the ballot.