UPDATE – Denise Menard has dropped out of the race for Council. There are now 12 candidates running for six seats.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Lori Ackerman will officially be the mayor of Fort St. John for another four years.
Ackerman has been elected mayor by acclamation for the second straight time in this year’s municipal election. She was first elected mayor in 2011 when she beat Don Irwin by 60 votes. She was re-elected by acclamation in 2014.
The remaining six seats on Fort St. John City Council have not yet been decided.
All six incumbent candidates – Larry Evans, Gord Klassen, Byron Stewart, Trevor Bolin, Bruce Christensen, and Lilia Hansen – have filed nomination papers to be re-elected.
Of the five councillors who have served since the last municipal election in 2014, Byron Stewart received the most votes that year with 1,223, finishing second to former councillor Dan Davies. Trevor Bolin finished sixth in that year’s election with 940 votes, less than 100 more than Graham McCoubrey.
There are seven candidates challenging the incumbents for their spots on City Council, none of whom have previously been elected to public office.
Two-time unsuccessful candidate Becky Grimsrud will be making her third bid for a seat on City Council after she lost last year’s by-election to councillor Hansen.
Of the ten candidates looking to be elected to Council, three are involved in the Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce.
Hansen, who is the Chamber’s executive director, has been joined by Treasurer Tony Zabinsky and, as of Thursday afternoon, Chuck Fowler.
Fowler serves as a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and is also involved in local grassroots organization FSJ for LNG.
Justin Jones, whose nomination papers list him as a sales representative with United Rentals, is the fourth non-incumbent candidate.
On Friday, Jim Harris became the eleventh candidate for Council to file. Harris is the manager of Hi-Performance Motor Sports and owns Advantage Hotshot & Pilot Car, according to his nomination papers.
With just minutes before this afternoon’s 4:00 p.m. deadline, the City received two more nomination papers. Denise Menard and Gabor Haris have submitted their nomination papers which, as of 4:25 p.m., have not been posted on the City’s website.
This year’s municipal election is taking place on October 20th, with advance voting days on the 10th and 17th.