London party

London mayoral election: Lots of last-minute candidates, lots of open races

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Perhaps Londoners work best under pressure.

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The London Municipal Elections office saw more activity on Friday than any other day during an entire nomination period for civic races, with the afternoon deadline to register prompting a flurry of last-minute candidates .

A dozen people lined up to file their documents or support an application in the last hour before the 2 p.m. deadline, a slew of last-minute applicants who was not planned by city ​​staff.

“It is, one might say, a very good sign. The thing is, we were all wringing our hands a week ago because we didn’t have as many candidates as we did in the last election,” political scientist Jacquetta Newman of King’s University College said of the last-minute additions.

But running for the board isn’t easy, and rookie candidates have a tough job ahead, she said.

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“It’s going to be a big tough battle. The main argument is that it is very expensive to run a campaign, even at the municipal level,” Newman said.

“You don’t get any party help, there’s no fundraising. Not only are you trying to create a presence for yourself to stand out from the crowd, but you’re also fundraising at the same time.

Nominations for mayor, city council and three council school board trustees opened on May 1. More than 100 candidates registered in London.

London pastor Sandie Thomas was one of them.

” It’s time to change. I am not a career politician, but I am interested in the community. It’s not about a title, it’s about helping the community, building us up, making us even stronger than before. That’s why I put my hat on,” she said.

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Thomas, who founded a black community center in London, said some of his campaign priorities included affordable housing and creating a greener city “for generations to come”.

Downtown business owner Mario Jozic filed his paperwork to run for Ward 9 West City Council against the City Councilman. Anna Hopkins, saying he would like to tackle homelessness, affordable housing and create a more “business-friendly” environment at City Hall.

“I saw how politics affects people,” he said.

The 2 p.m. nomination deadline marks the unofficial start of campaigning for the Oct. 24 election, with all candidates blocked.

At least a third of the council is guaranteed to change, with five open ward seats where the current councilor is not seeking re-election. London City Council has 15 members, including the Mayor.

Com. Maureen Cassidy officially bowed out on Friday, saying she would not seek a third term in North Ward 5. Councilors Mo Salih, Jesse Helmer and Stephen Turner from Wards 3, 4 and 11, while Ward 7 are also stepping down after this mandate. Com. Josh Morgan, the deputy mayor, is running for mayor.

Voters go to the polls on October 24.

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MEET THE CANDIDATES

A complete list of candidates for city councils and school boards can be viewed here.