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UPDATE: Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel won’t seek re-election

EDMONTON – After three terms as Edmonton’s mayor, Stephen Mandel will not seek a fourth team leading the city of champions.

“I hope I don’t get too emotional. It’s an important day for me and my family,” Mandel said to a large crowd at the Art Gallery of Alberta.

“I really need to officially announce that I will not be seeking a fourth term as mayor for the city of Edmonton,” he said.

“After 12 years at city hall and nine very, very busy years as mayor, I believe it is time to open up the door to new leadership to guide our city’s path forward.”

“City hall must continue to work hard to keep pace with the growth, energy and ambition of this incredible city.”

Mandel pointed out several things that are important to him; city council, community organizations that focus on the future of the city, city administration, city staff, and of course, Edmontonians.

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“Today is a day to say thanks,” he said, “first and foremost to Edmontonians.”

The mayor became very emotional talking about the respect and support from Edmontonians he’s felt over the past nine years.

“Our citizens have led the way,” he explained, they “expected so much more of City Hall.”

Former Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach and his wife Marie attended the announcement and the former premier was the subject of a huge compliment from Mandel.

“To our former Premier Ed Stelmach,” he said, choking back tears, “sorry Eddy.”

“I’m so grateful you are here today. For you have been a great mentor and a great friend, and one who is a wonderful friend of the city.”

“In my humble opinion, you will go down as the best premier our province ever had or ever will have.”

Alberta Premier Alison Redford sent a message on Twitter, writing “Thank you Mayor Mandel for your vision for Edmonton, and your service to Edmontonians… I always appreciated Mayor Mandel’s passion for Edmonton. He will leave [a] long, positive legacy for the city.”

Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths released a statement that reads, in part:

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Doug Griffiths, Minister of Municipal Affairs, issued a statement that reads, in part:

“In his 12 years of public service to the City of Edmonton, Mayor Mandel has been tireless in his vision of transforming Alberta’s capital into a prosperous, modern, and welcoming city. He achieved that vision with great success.”

Mandel also thanked those who challenged him.

“I want to thank those with opposing views,” he said, “who challenge us every day. Unchallenged leadership becomes complacent.”

When it comes to the October election, Mandel said Edmontonians will have many options for leadership.

Before ending his speech, Mandel addressed the crowd.

“Everyone in this room, as I look around, has a connection, some way of making this city better.”

“It is a wonderful city, and one that we can be proud of.”

 More to come…

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