While three candidates vie for the mayor’s seat in the Oct. 21 Whitehorse municipal election, another 17 candidates are in the running for the six councillor positions.
Nominations for the election closed on Sept. 23 at noon with returning officer Norma Felker stationed inside council chambers throughout the morning to accept candidate’s paperwork and outline the order candidates’ names will appear on the ballot.
The order was determined through a draw with Wendy Donnithorne, manager of legislative services for the City of Whitehorse, pulling names out of a black plastic cauldron.
The mayoral candidates names were thrown into the cauldron first with candidate Patti Balsillie’s name to be the first on the ballot, followed by Samson Hartland and Laura Cabott.
On the councillor side, names will appear on the ballot in the following order:
- Eileen Melnychuk
- Noah Curtis
- Telek Rogan
- Mellisa Murray
- Kelsey Hassard-Gammel
- Kirk Cameron
- Michelle Stimson
- Cam (Cameron) Kos
- Doug Graham
- Ted Laking
- Robin Reid-Fraser
- Jocelyn Curteanu
- Michelle Friesen
- Dave Blottner
- Michelle Christensen-Toews
- Janna Swales
- Dan Boyd
Boyd and Curteanu are the only current councillors to seek another term in their role, though mayoral candidates Hartland and Cabott are also both current city councillors.
Melnychuk, who was on-hand when her name was pulled as the first councillor candidate to appear on the ballot, said she was surprised to hear her name first and hopes it bodes well for her during the election.
This marks a lower number of candidates in recent municipal votes, with the last three votes showing at least 20 candidates for councillor positions and at least three running for mayor.
In 2018, 20 sought a councillors seat while five ran for mayor. In both 2015 and 2012, the city boasted a list of 22 running for councillor seats with three running for mayor in 2015 and five for mayor in 2012.
The 2006 and 2009 municipal elections saw perhaps the lowest numbers since 2003, with 12 seeking councillor seats and just two seeking the mayoralty in 2009, along with just eight for councillor and four for mayor in 2006.
After the names were drawn, Felker noted this is a preliminary list of candidates, meaning prospective candidates have until Sept. 27 at noon to withdraw from the race. After that their name will remain on the ballot.
The final list will be updated Sept. 27.
Advance polls will be held Oct. 14 and 16 ahead of the Oct. 21 vote.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org