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3 months ahead of Edmonton election, no prominent challenger for Mayor Don Iveson

File: Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson participates in an interview with the Canadian Press in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.
File: Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson participates in an interview with the Canadian Press in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Justin Tang, The Canadian Press

With less than 100 days to go until Edmonton heads to the polls for the 2017 municipal election, Mayor Don Iveson does not have any prominent challengers for the city’s top spot.

Candidates do not have to officially announce their intentions to run until mid-September, and Iveson said he’s prepared for competition.

“It’s an interesting situation to be in but I have to assume that a credible challenger could come forward so my team is preparing for anything,” Iveson said on Tuesday.

“One way or the other, I intend to run a campaign that’s about where we go next as a city and then also ensuring that the right kinds of questions are being asked of those running for council — both for re-election and newly — so that we have a council that’s aware of the direction that our citizens want to go. I’m going to seek to set that agenda in the election, regardless of who’s running.”

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READ MORE: Edmonton residents approve of Mayor Iveson, but not city council: poll 

Iveson said supportive housing is a key issue and he wants to hear where every council candidate stands on the issue.

“Do they believe in inclusive communities or do they think it should be in someone else’s backyard and not their own?”

He also wants to hear from candidates about their thoughts on how the city spends on transit, as well as their views on climate change and energy transition.

“I think these issues are still a bit up in the air for some people and I think the public deserves to know where people stand on some of those big strategic questions.”

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Edmonton’s 2017 municipal election

Edmonton will see at least three new faces on council, as current councillors Bryan Anderson, Ed Gibbons and Michael Oshry have all announced they will not seek re-election.

Nomination day is Monday, Sept. 18. Election day is Monday, Oct. 16.

While Iveson is not in full campaign mode yet, he said things will gear up in the next few weeks.

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“I sometimes describe running for mayor as a six-speed transition and it’s already in second gear but it’ll change gears a bunch more times up to election day,” he said.

“We’re going to have a party in a couple of weeks… to launch things up from second gear to third gear but our team is already doing quite a bit of work behind the scenes.”

READ MORE: Edmonton city councillor proposes stricter rules for future council candidates

Iveson was elected mayor in October 2013 with more than 60 per cent of the vote. At the time, he was running against then-councillors Karen Leibovici and Kerry Diotte. Joshua Semotiuk, Gordon Ward and Kristine Acielo were also in the running.

Prior to his term as mayor, Iveson served two terms on city council.

Information about advance voting and mail-in ballots can be found on the City of Edmonton’s website.