Candidates file papers as civic election starts

Nomination period opens for council, regional district and school trusteesw

Tuesday marked the starting line for the upcoming municipal civic election, the first day residents can file paperwork to make their candidacies official.

Former Sooke councillor Herb Haldane was the first person to file papers to run as a councillor in the municipal election within an hour of the opening of the nomination period.

“Somebody needs to abide by the Local Government Act and it’s not happening here,” he said. “Spending and tendering are concerns.”

More challengers are bound to enter the race, as nominations don’t close until Sept. 14 at 4:30 p.m.

Voters go to the polls on Oct. 20.

RELATED: Candidates line up for municipal vote

Along with six council seats and the mayor’s position in Sooke, voters will also choose three school trustees.

Juan de Fuca Electoral Area will pick a director to sit on the Capital Regional District board.

Perhaps the hottest race this year will be the one between Mayor Maja Tait and longtime Coun. Kevin Pearson.

Both candidates announced their intentions in late spring to seek the mayor’s chair.

Tait won the mayor’s seat by more than 1,200 votes in the 2014 election, while Pearson finished in the middle of the pack in the councillors’ race.

Another race to watch this year is in the Juan de Fuca where incumbent Mike Hicks is taking on Haldane. (Haldane is running in both Sooke and the Juan de Fuca).

Chief returning officer Carolyn Mushata and her staff has spent months brushing up on the new rules and pulling together candidate information.

Thirteen candidate registration packages were taken out by last Friday and district staff for months has answered questions from residents on what they need to do to run.

The election is a double-first for B.C.: it’s the first election following a four-year term for municipal officials and it will be the first municipal election under the province’s new rules for campaign financing.

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