Winnipeg election tensions run high

Brian Bowman speaks at a press conference Friday morning .
Brian Bowman speaks at a press conference Friday morning . Global News

WINNIPEG – With less than two months until Winnipeggers hit the polls October 22 the mayoral race is heating up with tensions flaring between some candidates.

Gord Steeves says he’s in the race for mayor to win, but suggested there may be a few candidates too many.

In a statement emailed to media Thursday night Steeves said, “It is clear from the Probe poll that Judy Wasylycia-Leis can only be defeated with one right-of-centre candidate in the mayoral race.”

That had rival right wing candidates Friday telling Steeves to take his own advice, and get out.

“If that’s how strongly he believes, he can do the honourable thing and step down. I don’t believe that’s the way we should go,” said Brian Bowman.

And fellow candidate Paula Havixbeck lashed out on Twitter Thursday night calling Steeves a bully.

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So on Friday, Steeves backed away from his comments.

“I have to consolidate my base of support, I meant nothing more than that,” said Steeves.  “I have respect for Paula, I was not trying to bully anyone.”

Steeves also denied a claim that he already asked Bowman to stay out of the race months ago over drinks at Hy’s.

“I asked for his support, I was not aware at the time he was running,” said Steeves.

Watching it all from first place in the polls, former NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

“Winnipeggers want to hear from us about our positive images and suggestions for Winnipeg, they’re sick and tired of fear mongering, and finger pointing, and bullying,” said Wasylycia-Leis.

Probe Research’s poll asked more than 600 people between August 22 and 25 which candidate they would most likely vote for:

  • Judy Wasylycia-Leis – 39 per cent
  • Gord Steeves – 23 per cent
  • Brian Bowman – 16 per cent
  • Robert-Falcon Ouelette – 10 per cent
  • Paula Havixbeck – 7 per cent
  • David Sanders – 4 per cent
  • Mike Vogiatzakis – 1 per cent
  • Michel Fillion – 1 per cent