In the world of horse-racing win, place or show and you still go home with something.
However, there’s only one prize for candidates in Burlington’s 2018 mayoralty race. And all bets are off on who’s going to cross the finish line first.
While many see it as a showdown between incumbent Rick Goldring and Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed-Ward, former mayor Walter Mulkewich, whose ear is as close to the political scene as anybody’s, said it’s definitely a three-way race.
“Do not underestimate Mike Wallace,” said Mulkewich, who was mayor for part of the time Wallace served on city council in the 1990s.
Wallace, who also was MP for Burlington from 2006 to 2015, says his experience working at the federal level is a big asset.
Goldring is going after his third term as mayor. He was first elected to the job in 2010. Meed Ward already has served two terms on council.
Greg Woodruff, who is self-employed building web applications, also is running. He ran for regional chair in 2014, finishing second to incumbent Gary Carr, although Carr outpolled him by a huge margin 84,348 to 12,344.
Eleven candidates have registered to contest the Ward 1 council seat being vacated by Rick Craven, who is retiring.
Mulkewich, who lives in Aldershot, said it’s very difficult to predict who will win in Ward 1 with the vote being split 11 ways. The ward also includes the Forestvale, Maple and Tyandaga communities.
“Some people forget that perhaps 50 per cent of the voters in Ward 1 do not live in Aldershot,” he said.
Jason Boelhouwer, who works as an accomodation placement rep for senior citizens, placed second to Craven in the last election earning 17 per cent of the vote and is on the ballot again
Arlene Iantomasi, who has served on the Halton District Catholic School Board for the last 11 years, is now seeking Craven’s old seat.
Judy Worsley, executive director of the Aldershot Village BIA, also is in the race. Craven endorsed her in her campaign for a seat on the Halton District Board of Education in 2014, but she finished last in a three-person contest.
Taking his first crack at politics Kevin Galbraith, owner of a gym on Plains Road, also is chair of the board of directors of the Aldershot Village BIA.
Vince Fiorito represented The Green Party in Burlington in the recent provincial election. He is now seeking a council seat in Ward 1, even though he lives in Ward 5 at the opposite end of the city.
Rene Papin ran unsuccessfully for the Progressive Conservative nomination in Burlington prior to the 2011 provincial election and now wants to represent Ward 1, where he grew up. Marty Stas, a resident of Ward 2 who formerly lived in the Birdland area of Aldershot, is in the race.
Kevin Lee, who provides educational videos for seniors, Gary Milne, a retired engineer who lives in Tyandaga, Andrew Jordan and Tayler Morin also are on the ballot.
Craven was on vacation and could not be contacted for comment, but he has said he would not endorse any candidate until after the July 27 deadline for registrations.
Lisa Kearns, one of the founders of the Engaged Citizens of Burlington (ECOB) group, appears to be one of the favorites for Meed Ward’s old seat in Ward 2.
Public relations consultant Kimberly Calderbank is making her first foray into politics. She and her husband operate a marketing agency on Brant St.
Also on the ballot in Ward 2 are Michael Jones and Roland Tanner, who was a member of the Shape Burlington and Shaping Burlington committees that recommended wide-ranging changes at City Hall to bring citizens into the decision-making process. Walter Wiebe, sales director for a trucking company, and Gerard Shkuda, a retired teacher, are the other contestants.
Meed Ward said she will not be endorsing any candidates for council in any wards. However, she is encouraging voters to examine the platforms of all candidates and support those who back her philosophy of reasonable growth, but no overintensification.
Goldring and Wallace are also non-commital.
“There are many good candidates running for council, but I will not be endorsing any candidates,” the mayor said.
Wallace said if any candidates come to him asking to have their nomination papers signed, he would be happy to do it, but he won’t be endorsing any.
With John Taylor retiring, Lisa Cooper will take her third run for the council seat in Ward 3. She placed second to Taylor with 26 per cent of the vote in 2014.
Cooper was just 28 when she ran for regional chair in 2000, placing third. She has finished second to Taylor in Ward 3 twice.
Also in the race are Gareth Williams, who served as chairperson of the city’s sustainable development committee, Rory Nisan, a foreign service officer, Peter Rusin and Darcy Hutzel.
Rusin ran for mayor in 2014, finishing a distant third, and was the Consensus Ontario Party candidate in the June provincial election.
Jack Dennison has served on council for the last 24 years and isn’t ready to quit in Ward 4 yet. He is being challenged by Shawna Stolte, a social worker who has been actively involved with the Burlington Age Friendly Committee.
Incumbent Paul Sharman is seeking his third term in Ward 5. Mary Alice St. James, a retired elementary school principal, Xin Yi Zhang, an IT specialist, Daniel Roukema, community development and executive communications strategist, and Wendy Moraghan, a former detective with the Halton Regional Police Elder Services Unit, are out to unseat him.
Blair Lancaster will attempt to retain her seat in Ward 6, defending against challenges from Angelo Bentivegna, Ken White, a licensed portfolio manager and compliance officer and Kinsey Schurm, president of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Youth Association.
Bentivegna, a former executive member of the Burlington Eagles rep hockey association, was second to Lancaster in 2014 with 24 per cent of the total vote.