Langford is set for a municipal election battle unlike any it has seen in recent years.
A slate comprised of five of the seven current council members will square off against Langford Now as well as independent candidates.
Community First Langford is led by Mayor Stew Young and includes Couns. Lanny Seaton, Matt Sahlstrom, Roger Wade and Norma Stewart. They are joined by newcomers Shirley Ackland and Shannon Russell Willing. Ackland was formerly the mayor in Port McNeill from 2014 to 2018. Russell Willing has served on various committees with the city including the Langford Supports Ukraine Committee, which Ackland also served on.
“We must all work hard as a team to continue the great success of Langford, where being resilient is part of our state of being. Community First Langford has the experience and the vision for our community. This is the best team I’ve seen in 30 years to represent you,” said Young at the slate announcement on Thursday (Sept. 8).
The other two current councillors, Denise Blackwell and Lillian Szpak, are also seeking re-election.
Blackwell said it was quite freeing to not be part of a slate – she has run both on a slate and independently in the past.
“Whether it’s the current council, whether it’s a few new people, or there’s a couple of us that have been there for a while, I think I can work with anybody.”
Szpak said she was excited to see new faces running, especially younger candidates.
“It shows we have a thinking community and a connected community. The feeling I’m getting is people want to see a change.”
Wendy Hobbs has also thrown her hat into the ring as an independent candidate. She has served on the SD62 Board of Education for 25 years.
“I’m really excited about this election, I think that the voter turnout is going to be a lot different than it was in 2018. I think that people have seen quite a difference in Langford,” said Hobbs. “I think people would rather see a little bit more environmental stewardship in Langford – my quote is, improve Langford for future generations.”
Community First Langford is the second slate of candidates to announce they’re running in the upcoming municipal election. Langford Now, a newly formed electors organization started back in April, has five candidates running for councillor positions including Colby Harder, Keith Yacucha, Kimberly Guiry, Mark Morley and Mary Wagner.
“We are excited and hearing from people that they want change … At Langford Now we actually do believe in putting community first, we believe that people should have a meaningful and significant contribution to what we want in the community. This is a community for all of us, not just the developers’ carte blanche,” said Corrina Craig, spokesperson for Langford Now.
Fourteen candidates are vying for six councillor seats while Young faces Scott Peter Goodmanson and Dan Oickle in the mayoral race.
Black Press Media will have continued coverage of all of the candidates in the coming weeks, ahead of the 2022 general election on Oct. 15.