Voters across the province will be going to the polls in less than three months for municipal elections.
COVID-19 has delayed the elections by a year and in Saint John, it has been fairly quiet about who’s going to replace outgoing Mayor Don Darling.
One big name has come forward so far. Veteran councillor Donna Reardon has all but officially thrown her hat into the ring.
“It’s time for me to step up to the plate and let’s keep going,” said Reardon.
Reardon has been part of the council horseshoe for nine years. She says the mayor’s job is a big step but she feels it’s a logical one.
“It’s exciting but it’s daunting at the same time because it is a big commitment and it’s of much larger scope.”
Reardon says a lot of groundwork has been laid for Saint John’s fiscal responsibility, “between a sustainable budget, the financial policies you’ve got in place, et cetera.”
“So now that you’ve got all that foundation and groundwork done then let’s run with it,” she said.
UNB Saint John political scientist J.P. Lewis says municipal elections are usually the toughest to get people out for. And Darling has not been quiet about the job and what it entails.
“Because the current mayor has been so public with the difficulty of the office and while, I mean, that’s a very important conversation to have, that who knows what kind of impact that has on people thinking about running,” Lewis said.
Municipal politics is the closest to the people yet least popular form in which to gather candidates.
“It’s also the level of government most people deal with… on a regular basis more than others,” Lewis said.
Although Reardon hasn’t officially entered the race, she feels up for the job.
“I’m not perfect but have worked hard for Saint John. I feel I’ve got a nine-year track record and you know I just want to continue that on a larger scale as mayor.”
Voting day is set for May 10.