Calgary election 2021: Who won the race for mayor?

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Global News is projecting Jyoti Gondek will become Calgary’s next mayor, the first woman to hold the job in the city’s history.

Gondek will replace Naheed Nenshi, who announced in April that he would not seek a fourth term.

There were 26 other candidates running for the top job in this year’s election, including three outgoing councillors.

Click here to jump to results in the Calgary election.

Here’s a quick look at the candidates hoping to be mayor, in alphabetical order.

Ian Chiang

An immigrant from Brunei, Chiang has experience in the oil and gas, and engineering design and drafting industries. He’s also a tai chi practitioner.

Chiang aims to revitalize the city’s economy, continue advocating for oil and gas while also encouraging renewable electricity production, improve traffic flow and safety, and develop Calgary as a centre for IT and AI tech, as well as multicultural events.

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Chiang’s website

Chiang’s Facebook page

Jan Damery

An economist by training, Damery has professional experience in education, oil and gas, not-for-profits, including in senior leadership positions.

Damery promises to create 80,000 jobs by 2030, improve the city’s liveability, and spur an inclusive economic recovery

Damery’s website

Damery’s Facebook page

Damery’s Twitter page

Jeff Davison

Prior to being elected to city council as the Ward 6 councillor in 2017, Davison had experience in the energy and tech sectors. During his time on council, he’s served on the boards of CMLC, CED and the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, while also chairing the city’s transportation and transit committee and as director at the Calgary Film Centre.

Davison’s plan to grow and stabilize Calgary’s economy is based on four elements: attracting talent, a diversified economy, continuous learning and collaboration. He also wants to improve affordability for citizens and businesses, build an inclusive city, and support the planned Banff-Calgary-airport rail line.

Davison’s website

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Davison’s Facebook page

Davison’s Twitter page

James Desautels

A professional musician and composer, Desautels has also taught music at Calgary universities.

Desautels wants to make Calgary a more inclusive city, increase affordability and make the city more carbon neutral.

Desautels’ website

Desautels’ Facebook page

Desautels’ Twitter page

Jeromy Farkas

Another one-term councillor seeking the mayor’s chair, Farkas was elected to be the Ward 11 representative in 2017. Prior to that, he was a senior fellow at the Manning Foundation for Democratic Education — now the Canada Strong and Free Network — and held a number of positions at the University of Calgary.

Farkas’ fiscal conservatism and libertarian leanings continue in his campaign promises, including a tax freeze paid for by the city’s “rainy day fund.”

Farkas’ website

Farkas’ Facebook page

Farkas’ Twitter page

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Brad Field

The owner of a truck and bus collision repair and refurbishment company operating in Canada and the U.S., Field also has volunteer experience on the boards of a youth recover foundation and a kids charity golf tournament.

Field hopes to revitalize and diversify the city’s economy, revise the city’s taxes and budget, improve affordable housing and attract younger citizens with talent.

Field’s website

Field’s Facebook page

Field’s Twitter page

Emile Gabriel

A civil engineer and project manager by training, Gabriel has professional experience in his fields of study, as well as in roads, food services and research.

Gabriel is running on a platform that includes term limits, cutting the mayor’s salary and improved transparency.

Gabriel ran for mayor in 2017 and came in sixth with 0.3 per cent of the vote.

Gabriel’s website

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Gabriel’s Facebook page

Gabriel’s Twitter page

Jyoti Gondek

With degrees in sociology and criminology, organizational sociology and urban sociology, Gondek’s professional experience includes with the Haskayne School of Business, credit unions in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Greyhound Canada and in private consulting practice. She also has been an organizer in the city’s South Asian community.

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Gondek was first elected to city council as the Ward 3 representative in 2017.

If elected, Gondek said she will work on improving economic, social and climate resilience in the city, revitalize downtown, increase affordable housing availability, build out the Green Line LRT and seek a “fair deal” with the province.

Gondek’s website

Gondek’s Facebook page

Gondek’s Twitter page

Paul Hallelujah

A practicing registered psychologist with academic background in theology and environmental biology, Hallelujah is also involved with bitcoin mining equipment.

He wants to have all public servants undergo fMRI scans in a process he claims can detect racism, gender discrimination and pedophilia. He also wants to make Calgary meat-free as a means to fight cancers — a scientifically-unverified claim. He also wants to get rid of all taxation.

Hallelujah’s website

Hallelujah’s Facebook page

Zac Hartley

A furniture entrepreneur with academic history in business management studies, Hartley has lived in Calgary for much of his life.

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Hartley hopes to reduce property taxes, automate permits, tax foreign countries, reform the city’s art policy, and redirect funding from the Green Line to businesses.

Hartley’s website

Hartley’s Twitter page

Larry Heather

A three-time candidate for mayor, Heather is known for his anti-abortion, anti-public art, anti-mask, anti-vaccine and other similar views.

Heather also ran in Calgary Nose Hill in the most recent federal election.

If elected, Heather pledges to cut city staff levels, fight congestion, reverse the naming of the Reconciliation Bridge and reconciliation work, restore the church over the mayor’s office, reduce cycling paths, scrap the Municipal Development and Calgary Transportation plans, reduce taxes, among others.

Heather’s website

Heather’s Twitter page

Dean Hopkins

A former member of the British Army whose time included training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Hopkins is an active volunteer for causes like the food bank, rugby teams, Big Brothers Big Sisters among others.

Hopkins’ website

Hopkins’ Facebook page

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Kevin J. Johnston

A right wing social media personality, Johnston has faced arrests, charges and convictions surrounding COVID-19 restrictions, and instances of alleged assault, harassment, disturbances and hate speech.

This isn’t the first time Johnston has run for mayor and is campaigning as Calgary’s “mayor-elect,” prior to unofficial or official results from Elections Calgary. In Mississauga in 2014, he came in eleventh with 0.46 per cent of the vote. In 2018, again in Mississauga, he came in second with 13 per cent of the vote.

Johnston’s platform includes removal of COVID-19 restrictions, crime reduction, freezing property taxes and allowing farmers markets.

Johnston’s website

Johnston’s Facebook page

Randall Kaiser

A rancher for five decades, Kaiser moved to Calgary to become an investment banker. Kaiser’s social media posts seem to deny the COVID-19 pandemic’s existence and doubts the legitimacy of financial systems.

Kaiser’s website

Zaheed Ali Khan

Khan hopes to improve child and family services, fair entry, fund pediatric mental health work and build out internet infrastructure.

Khan’s website

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Khan’s Twitter page

Cory Lanterman

Lanterman pledges to revamp the tourism and recreation industries, have a city-owned oil refinery, levy city fines as a percentage of gross incomes and environmental efforts like protecting parks and renewable energy production.

Lanterman’s Facebook page

Lanterman’s Twitter page

Zane Novak

Novak’s professional experience includes construction, oil and gas, clean tech and most-recently with non-profits like the Kerby Centre.

Novak hopes to support local businesses, improve accountability, foster vibrancy and better liveability, if voted into office.

Novak’s website

Novak’s Facebook page

Novak’s Twitter page

Teddy Ogbonna

An immigrant from Nigeria, Ogbonna has professional experience in oil and gas, small business, as well as in non-profit and humanitarian sectors.

Ogbonna wants to reduce taxes, balance the city’s budget, spur the economy with tax credits, address mental health, support emergency services, improve affordable housing and turn the Green Line LRT into a bus rapid transit line.

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Ogbonna’s website

Ogbonna’s Facebook page

Ogbonna’s Twitter page

Mizanur Rahman

A Bangladeshi immigrant, Rahman has previously been involved with politics as an Alberta NDP candidate in the 2015 provincial election and with a UCP constituency board.

Rahman wants to reform city council decision-making processes, reduce property taxes, reduce council terms to two years each and total councillors to eight, and establish a new “modern green downtown” in Quarry Park.

Rahman’s website

Geoff Rainey

There was no information available for Geoff Rainey as of publication.

Rainey’s website

Adam Roberts

Roberts’ professional experience in automation includes industries like engineering, mining, drilling, water/wastewater and auto manufacturing.

Roberts wants to remove all city mask and vaccine passport bylaws, diversify the economy and encourage small business.

Roberts’ website

Sunny Singh

A former law enforcement officer, Singh has also appeared in movies and medalled in tae kwon do competitions.

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Singh pledges to help Calgary businesses, cancel property taxes for seniors and reinforce charter rights.

Singh’s website

Singh’s Facebook page

Singh’s Twitter page

Virginia Stone

An entrepreneur whose experience includes the cosmetics industry, Stone has also been involved with an environmental non-profit.

Stone pledges to lower taxes, reduce city spending, increase affordable housing, reduce crime and invest in environmental efforts.

Stone’s website

Stone’s Facebook page

Stone’s Twitter page

Will Vizor

An immigrant from Nigeria, Vizor studied criminology and political studies at the University of Manitoba before becoming self-employed.

If elected, Vizor said he would improve the economy, address racism, eliminate homelessness, mental health, eliminate corruption, and improve snow removal.

Vizor’s website

Vizor’s Facebook page

Stan ‘the man’ Waciak

Waciak ran for mayor in 2017 and received the second-fewest votes.

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Shaoli Wang

A geologist by profession, Wang ran as an independent candidate in the 2019 federal election.

Wang hopes to cut taxes, freeze hiring, cut city employee pay, halt work on the Green Line, event centre and other CMLC projects, reduce crime, offer a seniors property tax credit, reduce transit fees, and improve snow removal and garbage collection.

Wang’s website

Wang’s Facebook page

Wang’s Twitter page

Grace Yan

An immigrant from the Phillipines, Yan’s professional history includes roles as a paralegal and in real estate.

Yan’s campaign platform includes supports for business, revitalizing downtown, improving council transparency, increasing arts and entertainment industries and improving city transportation systems.

Yan’s website

Yan’s Facebook page

Yan’s Twitter page

In total, 27 people are running for mayor and there are 100 candidates for city council. Eighteen people are running to become Calgary Catholic School Board trustees, while 38 people are running to become Calgary Board of Education trustees.

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Election day is Monday, Oct. 18.



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