Many potential mayors, few contesting councillors in Winnipeg’s civic election

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Winnipeg Election 2022 reminders
WATCH: Election 2022 is coming quickly! Are you on the City of Winnipeg voters list? Since it's being finalized at the end of August, senior election official Marc Lemoine walked us through some key reminders – Aug 15, 2022

It may still be the early stages of Winnipeg’s civic election but voters already have a long list of candidates to choose from.

There are 14 candidates vying for exiting Mayor Brian Bowman’s position, including:

  • Don Woodstock
  • Jennifer Motkaluk
  • Christopher Clacio
  • Rick Shone
  • Scott Gillingham
  • Robert-Falcon Ouellette
  • Shaun Loney
  • Idris Ademuyiwa Adelakun
  • Rana Bokhari
  • Desmond Thomas
  • Glen Murray
  • Jessica Peebles
  • Kevin Klein
  • Govind Thawani

The list may seem long, but one expert says it isn’t unusual when there is no incumbent running. Bowman announced in October 2020 that he wouldn’t be seeking a third term in office when voters go to the polls Oct. 26.

“It’s not uncommon when it’s a wide open field to have lots of names on the ballot,” said Mary Agnes Welch, a partner of Probe Research.

The latest poll from Probe Research shows former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray is the choice of 44 per cent of voters.

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Read more: Former mayor Glen Murray head and shoulders above competition in Winnipeg election poll

“There’s a whole shwack of people running and it’s really confusing for voters and we’ve got this dominant figure in Glen Murray, so he’s really sucked up a lot of oxygen in the race I think.”

While voters still have plenty of time to decide, another name is also high in the polls – former MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette.

“He’s been a quieter campaigner, we haven’t seen him a lot, we haven’t seem do a lot of stuff, so I’m wondering if he’ll fall or drop down or if voters will pay more attention to him.”

Read more: Questions remain in crowded Winnipeg mayoral race, pollster says

Welch says key issues driving voters this election are poverty, crime and homelessness.

Click to play video: 'Crowded mayoral race in Winnipeg'
Crowded mayoral race in Winnipeg

While there’s many mayoral candidates, the list of councilors vying for a seat is much smaller.

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Six wards are unchallenged with only their incumbent councillors running.

“I think being a councilor is a hard job and the pay isn’t great and a lot of people who are good community activists or good professionals might look at that gig and say ‘I can make a contribution in some other way,'” Welch said.

Starting next month the city should start to look a lot more decorated, as candidates are allowed to put up signage.

Welch said she hopes the advertising will help bring more attention to a race with so many options.

 – with files from Global News’ Sam Thompson

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