Alberta Politics

Edmonton Election races I will be watching on Election Night

Election Day is Monday October 16, 2017. Voting stations are open from 9:00 am until 8:00 pm. Use the Where to Vote tool to find your voting station and candidate list. Authorized identification is required to vote.

With less than 36-hours left until the polls open on Alberta’s municipal Election Day, candidates and their campaign teams will be pressing hard to make sure their efforts over the past month pay off.

Here are a few Edmonton City Council races I will be watching on Election night:

Aaron Paquette Edmonton
Aaron Paquette

Ward 4: There are twelve candidates running in this northeast Edmonton Ward. Ed Gibbons has represented the area since 2001 but decided not to seek re-election. With so many candidates there is a chance that the successful candidate could be elected with a small percentage of the total vote. It is difficult to make a prediction about who will win, but one campaign that sticks out is that of well-known artist and past NDP candidate Aaron Paquette. I am also watching Alison PosteHassan Haymour, Rocco Caterina, Justin Draper, and Trisha Velthuizen in this race.

Ward 5: One-term councillor Michael Oshry decided not to seek re-election. There are nine candidates in this race, but I am predicting that Miranda Jimmy, Sarah Hamilton, and Dawn Newton, and David Xiao will place in the top four.

Ward 7: Tony Caterina is running for his fourth-term on city council and, unlike most incumbents, he has always faced strong challengers. In 2010 he was re-elected with 48 percent of the vote and in 2013 he was returned to office with 42 percent. This time around, he faces a strong challenge from Kris Andreychuk, who is running a solid campaign and has the support of the two previous second place challengers (including Caterina’s council colleague Scott McKeen, now representing Ward 6). I have also been impressed by Mimi Williams, who placed third in 2013 but is running a noticeably better organized campaign this time.

Kirsten Goa Edmonton
Kirsten Goa

Ward 8: Councillor Ben Henderson was re-elected with 84 percent of the vote in 2013 but this year he faces a much more robust challenge from three main candidates – Kirsten Goa, Eli Schrader and James Kosowan. I have spoken to a number of voters in this ward who have been confused by Henderson’s low-profile campaign and my impression is that Kirsten Goa is the candidate to watch in this race.

Ward 9: With six-term councillor Bryan Anderson retiring, this looks like it could be a four-way race between Tim Cartmell, Rob Agostinis, Sandy Pon, and Payman Parseyan.

Ward 11:  Mike Nickel will be hard to beat, but challenger Keren Tang has been running a strong and well-organized campaign. Nickel was first elected in Ward 11 in 2013, but he ran for mayor in 1998 and 2001, and later served as Councillor for Ward 5 from 2004 until he was defeated by Don Iveson in 2007.

I am also watching a handful of Public School Board races, including Ward A, where incumbent Cheryl Johner is facing six challengers, Ward G, where incumbent Bridget Stiring is being challenged by conservative activist Tyler Duce, and Ward F, where my friend Michael Janz is being challenged by Yemi Philip.

Just outside of Edmonton city limits, here are some more races I will be watching:

St. Albert Mayoral Election: Councillors Cathy Heron, Cam Mackay and former councillor Malcolm Parker are running to succeed retiring Mayor Nolan Crouse. This bedroom community north of Edmonton is known for its nasty politics and divisive elections, and this year’s election was no exception. A slate of candidates, apparently friendly to Mackay, have been campaigning against the construction of a second library branch in the growing community.

Strathcona County Mayoral Election: Incumbent Roxanne Carr is facing a strong challenge from former Progressive Conservative MLA Jacquie Fenske, former mayor and past Wildrose candidate Linda Osinchuk, and past federal Liberal candidate Rod Frank.

Are there any other races I should be watching on October 16? Let me know!

12 replies on “Edmonton Election races I will be watching on Election Night”

Very good rundown, Dave – thanks!

I live in Ward 8. I think your description of Henderson’s campaign as “low-profile” is charitable – “invisible” is more apt. All but the most engaged municipal politics-watchers in this area could be forgiven for thinking that Henderson was retiring. I think I’ve seen a grand total of two lawn signs, we’ve received no literature, and his website is amateur hour. I don’t know if he’s hoping to coast to re-election on name recognition, but it’s a bit of a head-scratcher.

Kirsten Goa and James Kosowan appear to be the main challengers and I am pretty confident the top three will be these two and Henderson, although I have no idea who is likely to come out on top. Goa and Kosowan have had very visible campaigns – lots of signs both on public and private property. I know signs don’t vote, but they do speak to two important things in my mind: 1) money and 2) organization.

All of the top three are left-leaning (Goa worked in Notley’s constituency office and Kosowan is an active NDPer) so regardless of who wins I don’t anticipate it will have much impact on the political balance of council. They all seem to agree on the main issues, although Kosowan’s positions seemed a bit tinged by NIMBY-ism – i.e. he supports LRT, but not in his area, and he supports infill – somewhere else. Goa comes across as a bit granola, but with a good grasp of the issues and how municipal government works. Henderson is by far the most experienced and understands the nuances, but hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.

It will be an interesting one to watch for sure. Outside of the open seats in Wards 4, 5 and 9, this could be the closest race on election night.

Change in Ward 8 is the best thing that could happen. Henderson has been absent from this ward long before the election was called. Kirsten Goa appears to be the best candidate to replace him and hopefully she will be rewarded for a strong campaign.

Ward 8 options are pathetic, Henderson included. These people belong in a daycare, not a political race.

You didn’t discuss Ward 6 but incumbent Scott McKeen has copied Ward 8’s Ben Henderson in running a veritable “non-campaign”, with next to no signage or literature. He seems so self-assured he’s been spending time in other wards with his preferred candidates there, rather than focusing on his own re-election. Based on what I’ve heard from locals, he could come to regret it.

Bill Knight looks like he’ll knock off McKeen in Ward 6. Wouldn’t be surprised if McKeen finishes third behind Knight and Prouse. The forum in North Glenora was fun to watch. McKeen was clearly annoyed by the fourth council candidate, Adil Pribhai, going after McKeen’s record in office.

Would love to hear more about why you think this is the case. Many in Westmount are struggling to decide where to place their vote – they do not want to see McKeen back.

I received two pieces of campaign lit from Knight and one from Prouse in the mail. Pribhai’s campaign slipped something under my door.

No contact of any kind from McKeen.

Knight and Prouse came across as quite personable in the forum. Pribhai was passionate. McKeen just seemed a little disinterested.

We’ve received a couple from each candidate. McKeen’s second came yesterday. He seems to lose his temper and patience quite easily, certainly did when dealing with him on a development issue in our neighbourhood.

But are you basing your prediction on the literature and the forum you viewed or more than that?

Memories? Yes, the overpasses on Henday, Police Headquarters in Windermere and endless smear campaigns to knock down a hard working politician. He is getting my vote.

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