There will be a three-way race for the mayor’s seat in the Town of Ladysmith.
And what may come as a surprise is that Ladysmith’s longest-serving mayor, Rob Hutchins, is not on that list.
The deadline to file nomination papers for the Nov. 15 municipal election was 4 p.m. Oct. 10, and by that time, Gordon Horth, Marsh Stevens and Aaron Stone had submitted their names as candidates for mayor.
Horth has been serving as a councillor since 2011.
Hutchins, who is currently serving his seventh term as mayor after first being elected in 1993, has submitted his name as a councillor candidate. He joins 11 others on the list of candidates — incumbents Steve Arnett, Jillian Dashwood, Bill Drysdale and Duck Paterson and newcomers Robert Cross, Cal “Butch” Fradin, Joe Friesenhan, Nita Grant, Carol Henderson, Cathleen McMahon and Thea Melvin. There are six seats available around the council table.
Along with the Town of Ladysmith, Hutchins, the current chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, has put his name forward as a candidate for school trustee in School District 79 (Cowichan Valley).
“I have had the privilege of serving as mayor for seven terms … but such service comes at significant personal and family sacrifice,” Hutchins said in an e-mail. “At the beginning of this last term, I had stated to those around me that this was my last term. As can be expected, I have struggled with the decision. I love this community so much and know I have more to give, but at some time one must pass the torch … I have knocked on several doors, more than once, and I was delighted when passionate and able candidates had chosen to let their name stand. I believe I can support our new mayor in their first term and continue to make a contribution to our community as a member of council.”
In School District 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith), 23 people have put their names forward for nine trustee seats.
The list includes incumbents Bill Bard, Jamie Brennan, Nancy Curley, Kim Howland, Dot Neary, Bill Robinson, TerryLynn Saunders and Sharon Welch. As well, Nelson Allen, who served prior to 2011, and Natasha Bob and Rosmy Jean Louis, who have both previously been elected elsewhere, have submitted their nomination papers, along with Tania Brzovic, Alana Cameron, Patti Grand, Stephanie Higginson, Scott Kimler of Ladysmith, Catherine Morley, Lucy Oxman, Steve Rae, Mark Robinson, Noah Routley, Jeff Solomon and Bill Windley.
Chemainus voters will be choosing between John Koury (a current councillor), incumbent Jon Lefebure and Damir Wallener in the Municipality of North Cowichan’s mayoral race.
There are 20 council candidates, including incumbents Al Siebring and Kate Walsh; Paul Fletcher, who was previously elected elsewhere; Dave Haywood and Tom Walker, who both served prior to 2011; and newcomers Joyce Behnsen; Peggy Bran; Heather Campbell; Jenni Capps; Nick Caumanns; Rob Douglas; Jim Fane; George Gates; Maeve Maguire; Jagtar Singh; Lura McCallum; Jeffrey Motley; Greg Robson; Laurie Thomson and Ron Waller.
The final list of candidates running in the election will be available after the withdrawal and challenge period ends Friday, Oct. 17 at 4 p.m.
We’ll get to know the candidates better in future issues of the Chronicle and online at www.ladysmithchronicle.com/municipalelection.
In Ladysmith, the council and mayoral candidates will get a chance to share their platforms during an All Candidates Meeting hosted by the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, Oct. 29 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Aggie Hall.
General election day is Saturday, Nov. 15, and there will be advance voting Nov. 5 and 12.