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Londoners react to Mayor Matt Brown’s decision not to run for re-election

Mayor Matt Brown delivers a state of the city address on Jan. 31, 2017. The London mayor announced he will not be seeking re-election. Natalie Lovie, 980 CFPL

While it’s too early to tell what will happen in London’s upcoming municipal election, we do know the city will have a new mayor.

Many Londoners have been weighing in following Mayor Matt Brown’s announcement that he would not be seeking re-election Friday morning.

“I was a little surprised this morning, since he’s been pretty clear that he was planning to run again,” said Deputy Mayor Paul Hubert.

“But regardless of the mayor’s decision, this current council needs to focus on making sure everything we set out to do is accomplished,” he said.

Mayor Brown spoke with media Friday outside his office, and told 980 CFPL he would be dedicating his time to make sure Bus Rapid Transit is complete.

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“I don’t want to see BRT become the ring road of the 21st century,” said Hubert.

READ MORE: London Mayor Matt Brown not running for reelection

“Back in the late ’60s, city council couldn’t decide on what to do with a ring road, and finally, the province decided to move ahead and create Hwy. 402 without the city’s input,” he said.

Possible mayoral candidates including businessman Paul Cheng, former police board budget chair Paul Paolatto and former city councillor Stephen Orser have all expressed interest in changing or scrapping BRT if elected.

“I think in some regard, BRT will have its support from potential candidates who do decide to come forward,” said Ward 11 Coun. Stephen Turner.

“Who those candidates will be is yet to be seen, but there are many who do see BRT as a positive for our city,” he said.

Both Hubert and Turner told 980 CFPL they will not be running for mayor in the upcoming municipal election.

READ MORE: London’s municipal election: Who’s in and who’s out so far

Appearing on 980 CFPL’s the Craig Needles Show on Friday morning, retired political scientist at Western University, Andrew Sancton, said the mayor’s decision isn’t a big shock.

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“I can’t really think of anybody who was enthusiastic about voting for the mayor in this upcoming election,” said Sancton.

“I suspect he realized that was the common sentiment around him, and feels it’s better for him to leave on top.”

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