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Hamilton chamber of commerce exec Keanin Loomis resigns, set to run for mayor

Keanin Loomis, longtime chamber of commerce head, has revealed he will join the race to become Hamilton’s next mayor. Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

A now-former chamber of commerce head is set to join the race to become Hamilton’s next mayor.

Keanin Loomis, 46, resigned his post with the chamber after nine years as chief operating officer on Wednesday and revealed he’ll be stepping up to run for mayor in the next civic election on Oct. 24.

“It’s the perfect time to be throwing my hat in the ring,” Loomis told 900 CHML’s Bill Kelly Show.

“I have so much more leadership to provide in this community, and that’s the place from which to do it.”

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A graduate of the University of Waterloo and the College of William and Mary School of Law, Loomis has also been involved with Hamilton’s Regional Innovation Centre, and worked as a lawyer at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld in Washington, D.C.

He immigrated to Canada from the U.S. in 1986, and moved to Hamilton in 2009. He also serves on the board of the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority and lives with his wife and three children in Hamilton’s lower city.

 

Loomis said his attraction with municipal governing is the fact it’s “most attuned” to people on the ground and his “front row” seat as chamber boss has allowed him to participate in a number of corners around the community to solve issues.

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“So many people, from either me being in this leadership position or just on the street as I walk my kids to school, say there’s a huge desire for change and for fresh faces and new voices at City Hall,” said Loomis.

Louis Grilli, chair of the Hamilton Chamber board, credited Loomis as a leader that “completely transformed” the 176-year old city institution.

“When he started in 2013, the Board tasked him with reestablishing the Chamber into a relevant, modern pillar institution in our community — I would say he’s done that and then some.”

It’s not yet clear who Loomis will be running against in the fall election.

Read more: Premier Doug Ford kicks off housing summit with funding to help municipalities cut red tape

Mayor Fred Eisenberger told Global News that he has not made a decision on whether he will or won’t run.

“I am currently focused on the pandemic, housing, waterfront development and budgets and other imminent priorities,” Eisenberger said in an e-mail on Wednesday.

“Although I haven’t made a final decision and will do so at an appropriate time, I wouldn’t bet against it!”

Former Hamilton mayor Bob Bratina previously said he was considering another run at the mayor’s seat following his resignation as Liberal MP for Hamilton-East Stoney Creek in May.

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