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‘I don’t care if you vote for me’: TikTok star throws wrench in HRM mayoral race

Click to play video '22-year-old enters race for mayor’s office in Halifax' 22-year-old enters race for mayor’s office in Halifax
Max Taylor, who is known for his Tik Toks, has entered the race for mayor. And as Graeme Benjamin reports, he says his focus is on getting out the vote.

A popular social media creator from Halifax says he’s entered the city’s mayoral election to try and inspire more people to get involved in municipal politics.

Max Emerson Taylor, who has more than 600,000 followers and over 20.6 million likes on the social media app TikTok, was a last-minute entry in the race.

“There are people that absolutely hate me, there are people that support what I’m doing, but either way as long as they hate me enough to vote I am completely satisfied,” said Taylor.

@maxemersontaylor

Run a mile with milk in your hand challenge! #foryou #challenge

♬ original sound – paddyjohnstheman

@maxemersontaylor

Amazing little trip to Stillwater lake today. @samskorobogatov

♬ original sound – maxemersontaylor

The 22-year-old joins incumbent Mayor Mike Savage and Hammonds Plains–St. Margarets Coun. Matt Whitman in the race. Nominations closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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Taylor says his platform is simple.

“Our entire goal, our one goal is to bring the voting numbers up,” said Taylor.

“I don’t care if you vote for me. As long as you vote.”

READ MORE: Candidate slate set for Halifax election as mayoral race grows to three candidates

According to the Halifax Regional Municipality’s website, voter turnout in the October 2016 election was just 31.77 per cent.

With TikTok primarily being a platform used by Generation Z, Taylor and his campaign team hope that’s something they can help change this year.

“I think Max really appeals to a younger base,” said campaign co-ordinator Emma Edmonds. “He’s really fun and engaging, so I think if anything he’s going to make people pay attention a little bit more than they normally would.”

Matt Whitman, who announced he would be seeking the mayor’s office back in October 2019, says he welcomes a fresh face in the mix.

“I think it’s a good thing. I wish him well. I think it’s going to draw some attention to the campaign, which is needed,” said Whitman.

“He’s going to shed some light on things, draw some attention to the campaign. His strategy is just vote for someone, my strategy is just vote for Matt Whitman.”

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It won’t be long until Taylor will put his platform to work. A mayoral candidate’s forum will take place on Sept. 16 and will be available to be streamed online.

READ MORE: ‘Halifax’s worst-kept secret’: Matt Whitman announces he’s running for mayor

Taylor says he hopes to bring a new form of youthful energy to the process.

“Get enthusiastic about politics. This stuff matters. If you live in a city, be enthusiastic about the city you live in,” he said.

“Go out there and vote. Register to vote. Get it done, go vote, c’est la vie.”

The election is scheduled for Oct. 17.