In 2004, a vacant seat left by Mayoral candidate Stephen Mandel was hotly contested between former Liberal MLA Linda Sloan (MLA for Edmonton-Riverview from 1997 to 2001) and Karen Lynch (who is now rumoured to be running for the Tory nomination in Edmonton-Calder). Sloan ended up besting Lynch by just over 1,000 votes.
Sloan joined fellow former Liberal MLA Karen Leibovici in representing Ward 1. Leibovici was first elected in a landslide in 2001 after being defeated in the 2001 provincial election. Leibovici served as the MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark from 1993 to 2001.
In my opinion, both Sloan and Leibovici have done a decent job in representing Ward 1 and have solid records on Council.
My one issue with Councillor Leibovici was her bizarre attempt in Fall 2006 to derail the Universal Bus Pass (U-Pass) project. Leibovici joined right-wing Ward 5 Councillor Mike Nickel in attempting to remove the U-Pass project funds from the City of Edmonton Budget.
She justified her support of the Nickel motion because she was already paying for her son’s tuition, his car, and his parking. I’m sure if all of the +60,000 students who are benefiting from the U-Pass lived in Ward 1, Mr. Leibovici would have some explaining to do.
The Nickel/Leibovici motion was defeated in a solid 11-2 vote.
Challengers Andrew Knack and Betty Kennedy have uphill battles against them if they are to unseat these two well-known and politically savvy incumbents. Knack has some interesting ideas and I encourage you to check them out.
2004 Election Results
Karen Leibovici – 23,793
Linda Sloan – 12,353
Karen Lynch – 10,909
Charlene Davis – 6,888
Terry Demers – 3,306
Joe Hudson – 3,046
Samir Ghossein – 1,534
Rory Koopmans – 1,332
Trent Soholt – 1,149
You can listen to Ward 1 candidate comments from public forums here.