Alberta Politics

7 City Council races to watch in Edmonton

With most attention focused on Edmonton’s mayoral election, it is important to remember there are a number of contest for City Council that could produce interesting results on election day. There are seven Wards that I will be keeping a close watch on when voting ends on October 21.

Andrew Knack Edmonton Ward 1
Andrew Knack

Ward 1
After three-terms, councillor Linda Sloan  announced only weeks before the nomination day that she would not seek re-election. This must have been a big surprise to her lone-challenger Andrew Knack, who had already been campaigning for months. This is Mr. Knack’s third attempt at winning a city council seat and he is not unchallenged. Health economist Bryan Sandilands, community activist Jamie Post, past-Wildrose Alliance candidate Sharon Maclise, and former CTV reporter Sean Amato have also entered the race. I suspect Mr. Knack’s head-start could be hard to overcome.

Ward 2
With three-term councillor Kim Krushell choosing not to seek re-election, there is an open race in north Edmonton’s Ward 2 . Both Don Koziak and Bev Esslinger will have name recognition from their previous political adventures. A perennial election candidate, Mr. Koziak placed a close second behind Ms. Krushell in 2010 and has run for office many times in the past, including as the Edmonton-Glenora Wildrose candidate in the 2012 provincial election and the mayoral election in 2007. Ms. Esslinger is known from her time as a public school trustee and as last year’s unsuccessful Progressive Conservative candidate in Edmonton-Calder. Candidate Nita Jalkanen could also play a factor in this race as a vocal opponent of the downtown arena project.

David Dodge Edmonton Ward 3
David Dodge

Ward 3
Is first-term councillor Dave Loken politically vulnerable? Challenger David Dodge hopes so. The low-profile Mr. Loken is facing a strong challenge from Mr. Dodge, the former president of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. Mr. Loken has an incumbent advantage, but it could be a close race.

Ward 5
The race to replace four-term councillor Karen Leibovici has drawn a crowd. Businessman Michael Oshry, former City Hall insider Terry Demers, transit worker Allan Santos, community league president Rob Hennigar, beer man Jim Gibbon, and former Catholic schools trustee Rudy Arcilla are among the nine candidates. My money is on the cool and confident Mr. Oshry.

Heather Mackenzie Edmonton Ward 6
Heather Mackenzie

Ward 6
Sixteen candidates have entered this race to represent north central Edmonton’s core neighbourhoods. Public school trustee Heather Mackenzie, former Edmonton Journal columnist Scott McKeen, police offcer Dexx Williams and community league president Derrick Forsythe are who I would pick as leaders of the pack. But leading the pack might not be enough. Many of the candidates in this race can expect to receive a few hundred votes each by simply being on the ballot, which could siphon votes away from the front-runners.

Ward 10
Filling Don Iveson‘s shoes in Ward 10 will be a tall order (both literally and figuratively). Community organizer Michael Walters has been pounding the pavement and waging a well-financed campaign for months. As a past provincial election candidate, Mr. Walters also has name recognition in the area. He is facing challenges from university instructor Richard Feehan and businessman Hafis Devji, but they may have a difficult time catching up. My prediction: Mr. Walters’ sweeps Ward 10 on October 21.

Ward 11
Who will replace Kerry Diotte in Ward 11? Hoping to leverage his name recognition and local outrage over potholes, two-time mayoral candidate and former city councillor Mike Nickel is attempting to stage a political comeback, but he is not alone. Mixed martial arts company owner Harvey Panesar (watch his video below), retired citizenship judge Sonia Bitar, and Mujahid Chak could be the biggest obstacles to Mr. Nickel’s return to politics.

8 replies on “7 City Council races to watch in Edmonton”

Yes, Fiona, it is. All 6 incumbent Councillors are male. Of the over 70 people contesting for a seat on council, fewer than 20 are women, and there are 4 wards with no women at all running (3,4,10,12). All 6 incumbent Council members are men, and of those 6, I agree with Dave that only Dave Loken is facing a possible upset (from another man).

Ward 11 has 8 candidates and no really good choices. I attended the local candidates forum and was hard pressed to find anyone worth voting for. I’m surprised we ended up with such a disappointing field. All the various political stripes are represented, there’s hardcore leftists, centrists and right wingers, but each of them seem like very flawed candidates on an individual level. Hard to believe Mike Nickel is the only experienced public speaker interested in an open ward, but that’s what has happened. Sadly.

Nickel is not someone who we want back in office. Nobody liked him before, he got Beat the multiple times he tried. Harvey Panesar actually took the time to come to my door and have a great conversation. He has my vote.

WARD 1: SHARON MACLISE… If we want a truly, fiscally responsible councillor… Man!!! is that needed on council??!! …..
….knowledgeable in terms of city issues and business,…. Sharon Maclise is the candidate to vote for.

In Ward 1, some other candidates may have some limited business/community or government experience.

No one else has the volume of experience, breadth of knowledge, commitment to issues and huuuge ability and skill to follow through on commitments that Sharon Maclise exhibits.

Lorne Gunter states as much in his article on Oct 18th, 2013:

“If, as most polls and observers predict, Iveson wins the mayor’s chair, he will need a fiscally tight-fisted council to keep his dreams and schemes in check. Candidates such as Sharon Maclise in Ward 1, Michael Oshry in Ward 5 and Dexx Williams in Ward 6 would help keep a Mayor Iveson from soaring too close to the sun.”


Good analysis. I agree with ward 10 assessment. Also in ward 6 I think Heather MacKenzie who has EBSB Trustee experience should get the nod. People seem impressed with her preparation.

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