Former Whitehorse city councillor Mike Gladish is seeking the Liberal nomination for this year’s territorial election.
Gladish wants to run in Mountainview, a riding currently held by Premier Darrell Pasloski.
He said his years as a councillor, between 2012 and 2015, helped him learn to work with different levels of government, including First Nations.
Now that he’s retiring from his position as manager of the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club, he said he’ll have some more time on his hands.
“I think the Liberal Party is a good option and I just wanted to give it a try governing at the territorial level,” he said. “I have a few good years of work left in me.”
He said the Liberal Party has “a reputation for listening to First Nations governments, respecting them and collaborating with them.”
He added that many issues he dealt with as a councillor, including recycling and waste management, are also territorial concerns.
But Gladish insisted he wasn’t thinking about running in the territorial election when he stepped down from city council last fall.
That decision, he said, was largely financial.
“When I left city council, I didn’t run mainly for the reason that it is a huge commitment for a small amount of pay,” he said. “You do have to get paid for your time.”
He said it’s only in the last month that he started seriously considering a return to politics.
If Gladish does get the Liberal nomination, he plans to run a “low-key” campaign, going door-to-door in McIntyre, Hillcrest, Granger and Valleyview, where he’s lived for the last 20 years.
“I really am not big on political signage and spending a lot of money,” he explained.
As for the prospect of running against Pasloski, Gladish said he’s not intimidated.
“I would call it challenging,” he said. “I don’t want to put Darrell up on a pedestal and say that it’s unattainable for me to run against him.”
In addition to his previous work as a councillor, Gladish volunteers with the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition and with Yukon Cares, the organization that recently welcomed a family of Syrian refugees to Whitehorse.
In 2001, he opened The Ski Base, the service centre for the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club.
Gladish is the sixth potential candidate to back Liberal Leader Sandy Silver, the party’s only elected member of the legislative assembly.
John Streicker, Rod Taylor, Tamara Goeppel, Ramesh Ferris and Russ Hobbis have all declared their intentions to run for the Liberals, starting last July.
The Yukon Party and the NDP have yet to put forward any new contenders for this year’s election, which must take place by October at the latest.
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