Edmonton city councillor Mike Nickel has announced his intention to run for mayor in the 2021 municipal election this fall.
He made the announcement via Facebook Live on Friday night. As a result, no reporters were able to attend his announcement and he did not take any questions.
Nickel currently represents Ward 11 in the city’s southeast.
He first won a seat on city council in 2004. After a brief hiatus, he was once again elected to council in 2013 and re-elected to his seat in the 2017 municipal election.
In 2018, Nickel lost a bid to become the UCP candidate for the riding of Edmonton-South in the provincial election.
During his Facebook Live, Nickel highlighted city projects that have gone overbudget.
“We can no longer afford a city where projects lack proper planning and oversight,” he said, also suggesting he believes the city has too many managers.
He also said “the woke special interest groups have had their time” at city hall already, but did not elaborate.
Nickel also spoke about the toll COVID-19 and the response to it has taken on the economy, as well as citizens’ mental and physical health while emphasizing the need for a clear plan for when the economy can reopen.
Nickel is the only current councillor to throw their name into the running for the city’s top seat, after Mayor Don Iveson announced in November he will not seek re-election.
Businesswoman Cheryll Watson announced her intention to run for Edmonton mayor in October.
In November, Coun. Andrew Knack said he was “still considering it,” but has not made any official announcement.
MacEwan University political scientist Chaldeans Mensah said while the race may be slow now, he expects more candidates to jump into the race in the coming weeks. He said whoever becomes the city’s next mayor will have a challenging job in front of them.
“The new leader has to combine elements of this progressive phase but also focus on fiscal responsibility, given the daunting financial challenges that we’re facing,” he said Wednesday.
“The mayoral race will be very interesting … Any time you don’t have the incumbent running it opens the political space.”
On Friday, Bev Esslinger, the incumbent for Ward Anirniq in north Edmonton, confirmed on Twitter that she intends to seek re-election in her ward in 2021.
The nomination period for the municipal election is now open. The election will be held on Monday, Oct. 18.
–With files from Global News’ Phil Heidenreich
Watch below: (From Jan. 20, 2021) So far only one person has officially thrown her name in the race to be Edmonton’s next mayor. But as Chris Chacon, that could be changing after one candidate appears to have accidentally leaked his intentions.