As he sets his sights on representing Edmonton for another four years, Mayor Don Iveson said his re-election campaign will focus on continuing to build the best city in North America.
“I firmly believe that Edmonton is the Canadian city to watch and that is why I’m betting on Edmonton in the strongest way I know how, which is running for a second term as your mayor,” Iveson said.
“We have come a long way since I called Edmonton ‘the most underestimated city in North America’ four years ago and the world is starting to notice what is happening here… something special is happening there.”
Iveson officially launched his re-election campaign Wednesday night at La Cite Francophone. He was joined by his wife and two children as he spoke to the crowd about his accomplishments over the past four years and the important issues he still hopes to tackle.
“I think the economy is the most pressing concern,” Iveson said. “Making sure that the fragile steps towards recovery that we’ve made and the strength of our existing industries can grow and innovate to be relevant into the future.
“It is a more uncertain time in the Alberta economy, no doubt, but we’ve proven that we are relentlessly creative and innovative and serial entrepreneurs when it comes to building new things. So I am quite bullish on Edmonton.”
While the economy will be his top priority, Iveson also touted transportation, infill and supportive housing as other top priorities.
“I’ve been committed for 10 years on city council to transportation choices for people to overcome congestion, affordable housing and more infill choices; higher densities so we grow out more slowly and consume less agricultural lands,” he said.
“So managing growth, delivering transportation alternatives, those are actually critical to providing quality of life so that people want to be here so that we can continue to grow the economy, it all comes back to that.”
Iveson won’t be alone on the ballot come October. Late last week, Fahad Mughal, a former city employee threw his hat into Edmonton’s mayoral race.
“I also believe in having options for people so they can pick and choose. Right now, nobody was running so that was also very surprising to me,” Mughal told Global News last week.
Mughal, 35, was a business analyst but is now focusing his attention his election campaign full-time.
“My platform is for all of the people, all of the citizens. I really want our council to be accountable, transparent and fair to the citizens of Edmonton,” Mughal said.
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.
Iveson served two terms on city council prior to his term as mayor.
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.
Information about advance voting and mail-in ballots can be found on the City of Edmonton’s website.