Former London councillor Stephen Orser running for mayor

Stephen Orser served Ward 4 for two terms between 2006 and 2014, before being unseated in the 2014 election by Jesse Helmer, Ward 4's current councillor. Stephen Orser via Facebook

London’s upcoming municipal election is ramping up with a blast from the political past.

Stephen Orser, former councillor for Ward 4, has made public his plans to run for mayor this October.

Orser, who represented the ward for two terms, from 2006 until 2014, made the announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday evening.

“Its true, the dark horse is running for Mayor,” read the post, accompanied with an animation of a running horse. “Orser Mayor 2018.”

Orser ran for a third term during the 2014 municipal campaign, but lost to Jesse Helmer by more than 2,000 votes.

The former councillor is the fourth person to announce intentions to run for mayor in the upcoming election. The others include current Mayor Matt Brown, former mayoral candidate and businessman Paul Cheng, and former Police Services Board Budget Chair Paul Paolatto.

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A familiar name may help former politicians run again, but it could also have some setbacks, said Matt Farrell, professor of political science at Fanshawe College.

“On the other hand, do voters actually want you back? The name recognition might be there, voters may know who you are, but that doesn’t mean necessarily that that’s a good thing.”

Farrell added the world of politics has adhered to a standard that should a politician or candidate lose, they aren’t to run again.

For those intending to register, nominations open May 1.

The city will host an information session Saturday for anyone interested in learning more about the roles of the mayor and city council, the election process, and what is needed to run. It’s expected to last from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at city hall.

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