WINNIPEG – Sam Katz will not seek re-election as mayor of Winnipeg.
The high-profile local businessman and owner of the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team has held the city’s top job since 2004. He told reporters at Central Park in Winnipeg he won’t stand for re-election in the October 22 election.
Katz recently signaled he may not run, noting so many right-of-centre candidates were already in place that a left wing challenger would likely win. Former NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who lost to Katz in the last election, is running again this year.
CANDIDATES: Winnipeg election 2014
Katz denied that recent controversies over the awarding of contracts for new fire halls and cost overruns at the new police headquarters influenced his decision.
“In the near future people will see the phenomenal value in those facilities,” he said. “Being mayor is like any other job. Some days are great and some days are not so great.”
Wasylycia-Leis released a statement Friday marking Katz’s decision not to run.
“I would like to express my thanks to Mayor Sam Katz for his service as Mayor of Winnipeg,” Wasylycia-Leis is quoted in the statement emailed to media.
“It is never an easy decision to run for public office, and there are many sacrifices that come along with it. I truly wish Mayor Katz all the best, and hope he gets the quality time with his family that he deserves.”
There are a total of 7 candidates so far registered to run for mayor including former city councillor Gord Steeves, current councillor Paula Havixbeck, lawyer Brian Bowman, businessman Michael Vogiatzakis, University professor Robert-Falcon Ouellette, and exotic dancing promoter Michel Fillion.