Tanya Park to announce campaign for mayor of London on Friday

City councillor Tanya Park announces she will seek the Ontario NDP nomination in London North Centre. AM980

A week after London Mayor Matt Brown announced he wouldn’t run for re-election, it appears one of his colleagues is getting ready to enter the race to replace him.

Campaign sources have told 980 CFPL Ward 13 Coun. Tanya Park will announce Friday she will run for mayor.

Park will make the announcement at 2 p.m. at the London Food Incubator at 630 Dundas St., near Dundas and Adelaide in east London.

Park’s announcement comes two months after she announced she wouldn’t run for re-election after one term, saying she had accomplished all she wanted to at city hall.

READ MORE: Tanya Park announces she won’t run for re-election this fall

Park is a staunch supporter of London’s $500-million BRT plan that has yet to receive full funding.

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London has committed $130 million to the project with the province agreeing to contribute $170 million. The federal government has set aside $204 million for transit in London but has said the money isn’t necessarily for rapid transit.

Brown’s decision to not run for re-election has led some political observers to question the future of the plan in the city as he was one of the most vocal supporters of the rapid transit project.

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

Former police board budget chief Paul Paolatto, former councillor Stephen Orser and businessman Paul Cheng have all signalled their intention to run for mayor once nominations open May 1. All are against London’s current BRT plan.

Park would be the only supporter of London’s rapid transit plan running for mayor.

Park was elected in 2014 as one of 11 new members of London’s 15-member council. Londoners voted out all members of the infamous “Fontana 8,” the voting bloc named after former mayor Joe Fontana.

READ MORE: Former London councillor Stephen Orser running for mayor

Park will be the first person to come forward and announce their intention to run since Brown’s announcement. No other member of London city council has announced a bid for the mayor’s chair.

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The municipal election will be held Oct. 22. Candidates can’t officially enter the race until May 1.

When Londoners go to the polls this fall, they will be the first in Canada to use ranked ballots to decide the makeup of city council.

Earlier this year Park made an unsuccessful bid for the provincial NDP nomination in London North Centre.

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