Friday, April 16, 2010

This Week in Calgary - Wild Race in Cowtown!

Ever since a down-to-earth reporter stunned everyone 30 years ago, Calgary's incumbent mayors have enjoyed cake walk after cake walk to re-election. They do their 3 or 4 terms, then ride off on horseback into the sunset, setting off a feeding frenzy to replace them.

So welcome to the feeding frenzy.

Dave Bronconnier announced in February that he wouldn't be seeking a fourth term, setting off wildfire speculation. Here's a rundown of some of the names being bandied about to replace him. I'm probably overlooking some, so be sure to add any others in the comments section.

Ric McIver (all but declared): McIver is my former alderman and the horse I'd put money on in this race - he's been organizing and fundraising for a long time, and can always get a good quote in the media. He's the torch bearer for the right wing in this race which, oddly enough, may work against him - despite the city's reputation, Calgary's last two mayors have been openly Liberal.

Kent Hehr (expected to run): Kent won back Calgary Buffalo for the Alberta Liberals last provincial election. Hehr, who has been confined to a wheelchair since being shot as a bystander in 1991, would make a very compelling foil to McIver should he decide to enter the race.

Naheed Nenshi (considering a run): Naheed is the head of the Better Calgary Coalition - should he run, I fully expect Naheed to be the anti-politician of the race, focusing on policy and taking on the NIMBY groups. It's hard to say how successful a campaign like that would be, but his candidacy would certainly bring a lot to the race.

Alnoor Kassam (thinking it over): This was my guy in 2007, when he took on Dave. Alnoor starts the campaign with more name recognition than most thanks to the green stop signs, but the barrage of negative media he was hit with in 2007 means he'll need to rebuild his image if he wants to run again.

Joe Connelly (declared): Connelly pulled off the upset in Ward 6 last election and has declared early, in a bid to generate some Joementum. His website is up, and features a buzzword bonanza, including promises such as "Delivery of services through transparent leadership conducting real consultation, followed by strategically planning and executing with precision."

Jon Lord (declared): This former Tory MLA is most famous for citing his membership in MENSA on a campaign brochure. His website projects his campaign as being a tad amateur and a tad verbose (Did you know Jon developed "the ISO 9000, the world's best efficiency and effectiveness business process re-engineering methodology"? Me neither.). But Lord gets major marks from me for mentioning "The Borg" in his principles section.

John Hughes (declared): Described as "an urban chicken activist". This tells you all you need to know about his candidacy.

Wayne Stewart (gauging support): A retied oil executive and former head of a local homeless foundation could appeal across the political spectrum.

Also Rumoured: Former Alderman Craig Burrows, the ageless Bob Hawkesworth, Diane Colley-Urquhart (who finished third in the Glenmore by election, running for the PCs), former alderman Brian Lee, Dave Taylor (who has denied interest, saying he's too old), Alberta's representative in DC Gary Mar, former solicitor general Harvey Cenaiko, Frank McKenna, Paul Hellyer, The professor and Mary Ann.

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  • What do you have against us urban chickens?

    Wait - I think I'm too old to be considered chicken anymore.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:04 a.m.  

  • You forgot Brian Tobin and Sheila Copps! I mean, if McKenna and the professor are going for it...

    But, in seriousness, whats next for Bronconnier? Federal Liberals? Alberta Liberals? Retirement?

    By Blogger Kyle H., at 11:07 a.m.  

  • Volkov - The assumption has always been that Bronco would jump to a higher level of politics. He's keeping his war chest until he leaves "politics" (not "municipal politics") - that's as clear a sign as any that he intends to run for something else.

    I think if he saw a chance with the federal Libs, he'd take it - it would mean an automatic cabinet post after all. But that probably wouldn't come until at least 2014 when redistribution, a stronger Liberal Party, and no Harper could actually give Bronco a chance at winning a seat.

    Provincially, I think he'll wait and see what happens next election. I could see him trying for either the PC or ALP leadership, depending on the lay of the land.

    But, for now, I imagine he'll make some money and try to maintain his profile.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:51 p.m.  

  • The title of the article you linked to for Wayne Stewart made me laugh out loud: "Retiree weighs mayoral race".

    Seriously though, Wayne is 68 in a city where the average age is 36. By the end of his first term as mayor he'd be 71. He's gotta face the facts. If he got behind Hehr I think that campaign would be unstoppable.

    By Anonymous Dave Cournoyer's Broken Blog, at 3:34 p.m.  

  • You haven't tossed your hat into the ring? You could campaign on a platform of moving back to Alberta if you win. ;)

    By Blogger Paul, at 3:49 p.m.  

  • And you could call your campaign something like, "Dan for Mayor!"

    By Blogger Paul, at 4:41 p.m.  

  • 'Ageless' is an ageist expression, isn't it?

    By Anonymous Finnegan, at 6:40 p.m.  

  • I don't know, I'm sure the "Just Visiting" adds would be vicious...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:57 a.m.  

  • The Professor's OK as long as it's not the Nutty one. Or Professor Plum...we don't know who he's going to do in.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:47 a.m.  

  • I think if he saw a chance with the federal Libs, he'd take it - it would mean an automatic cabinet post after all.

    Ah no. It's not automatic. The Liberals actually have to win the election first.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:08 p.m.  

  • By Blogger mmjiaxin, at 8:19 p.m.  

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