Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel‘s announcement yesterday that he will not seek re-election in the October 21, 2013 election has made way for our city’s first real open mayoral contest in 45 years.
Over those 45 years, Mandel is only the second Edmonton Mayor to leave on his own terms. In 1988, Mayor Laurence Decore stepped down to become leader of Alberta’s Liberal Party. Mayor William Hawrelak died in office in 1975. All other Mayors or interim Mayors were defeated in an election.
Here’s a short history lesson about Edmonton’s mayoral elections:
When Mayor Vincent Dantzer retired from municipal politics in 1968, he was succeeded by Mayor Ivor Dent. Dent was defeated by former Mayor Hawrelak in the 1974 election. When Mayor Hawrelak died in office in 1975, Alderman Terry Cavanagh became interim Mayor. Interim Mayor Cavanaugh contested the 1977 election and was defeated by Cec Purves. Mayor Purves was then defeated by Mr. Decore in 1983. When Mayor Decore resigned in 1988, Alderman Cavanaugh once again filled the role of interim Mayor and was defeated in the 1989 election by Councillor Jan Reimer. Mayor Reimer was later defeated by businessman Bill Smith in the 1995 election. Councillor Mandel unseated Mayor Smith in 2004.
Who can Edmontonians expect to run in our first real open mayoral election in a generation?
Councillor Kerry Diotte launched his campaign last week and Councillors Don Iveson, Karen Leibovici, and Amarjeet Sohi are suspected to be interested in running. The absence of an incumbent candidate might also draw candidates from outside City Council or traditional political circles.