Alberta Politics

Mandel’s retirement kicks-off Edmonton’s first open mayoral race in 45 years.

Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel
Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel

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 IvesonKaren 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.

More on this soon.

6 replies on “Mandel’s retirement kicks-off Edmonton’s first open mayoral race in 45 years.”

So, Dave, do you have any sense of whether this is a true retirement from public life, or whether Mr. Mandel plans to enter a different political arena (i.e. provincial or federal)? Also, what are his politics, from a provincial or federal perspective? In my experience, it can be challenging to deduce from municipal-level politics which party a person supports.

I’m excited about this. A wide open race should mean a wide open debate about the next 4/8 years of our city’s future. I want to know what each candidate’s vision for Edmonton in 2017 and 2021 is – and how to get there. And how to pay for it.

I also want a mayor who speaks Edmontonese. We have a new confidence that is beginning to really percolate. But it’s uniquely Edmonton; not a comparison to some other place or some other story. I want to hear the next mayor’s passion for our city and where we are going.

Hey Ryan – I guess it’s all that percolating confidence that’s causing the potholes. Yesterday our Buick hit one so big that my wife Barb’s false teeth flew out of her mouth and set off the airbags. She’s an embittered old woman, and since then she’s naming every pothole she sees after a city councillor or local businessman. She’s so mad she’s even called one out on 81 Ave “The Babiak”. I feel like I might have to run to fix the potholes, just to make that woman quieten down. Ay Ay ay.

Well, the Prince of Potholia is leaving! Leaving us with debt and his beloved downtown projects, and, of course, millions of potholes.

I think he is looking provincially – next Premier?
After all he consolidated a pretty big deal against all odds. Interesting dynamic

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