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Gordon Barnhart running for MuniSask president while still in Hawaii

Click to play video: 'Gordon Barnhart running for MuniSask president while still in Hawaii' Gordon Barnhart running for MuniSask president while still in Hawaii
WATCH: Gordon Barnhart is looking to hold onto his seat representing Saskatchewan municipalities and will make his case steps away from a beach in Hawaii – Feb 2, 2021

Despite travelling to Hawaii, the current Municipalities of Saskatchewan (MuniSask) president has thrown his name in the ring to keep the job.

Gordon Barnhart is one of two candidates running for the position during next week’s virtual convention — and he’s still in the U.S. state.

Read more: Municipalities of Saskatchewan president caught travelling to Hawaii

The Saltcoats mayor’s trip was the subject of a MuniSask meeting on Jan. 8 where representatives sent a letter asking him to respond to members and the public regarding his travel.

The former Saskatchewan lieutenant-governor and former interim president of the University of Saskatchewan is set to come home later this month and has been working remotely and participating in meetings from Hawaii.

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When asked about the trip and the campaign to remain as president, Barnhart said travel was a safe option for him and his wife.

“I will leave it to the best judgement of the members of our municipalities. As I say, I’ve worked very hard for the last four years hopefully in their best interests,” Barnhart said in a phone call to Global News.

While international travel wasn’t in violation of public health orders when Barnhart left Saskatchewan, officials from the federal and provincial governments were advising against it.

When asked about whether he would change his decision to travel, he said he doesn’t look back at past personal decisions.

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“I always look towards the future and I don’t second guess myself as to, ‘What if this? What if that?’”

In his two-and-a-half page pitch to members, Barnhart recounts his resume and accomplishments.

The only person running against him is the current vice-president of towns, Rodger Hayward.

He has been elected to that position twice and has been Naicam’s mayor since 2000.

“Serving our members well means we need to listen to them, have a common vision of where we are going, and then work together as a strong team,” Hayward said in a press release.

When news about Barnhart’s trip first came out, Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne said the city was considering its membership.

Read more: Gordon Barnhart elected in Saskatoon as new SUMA president

MuniSask, which was rebranded from Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA), said its call for nominations closed on Jan. 24.

The convention starts on Feb. 7 and the election is set to take place on Feb. 8.

Click to play video: 'Municipalities of Saskatchewan president caught travelling to Hawaii' Municipalities of Saskatchewan president caught travelling to Hawaii
Municipalities of Saskatchewan president caught travelling to Hawaii – Jan 8, 2021

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