FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After the nomination period for next month’s municipal elections in B.C. officially opened one week ago, there have been a number of changes to the lists of candidates that have submitted their nomination papers in communities across Northeast B.C.
According to CivicInfoBC, which operates as an information hub for all local governments in the province, candidates have officially submitted papers in five out of eight municipalities in Northeast B.C. Candidates have so far been posted by Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Pouce Coupe, Fort Nelson, and Tumbler Ridge while none have been posted yet in Taylor and Hudson’s Hope.
As of 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, there are eight candidates running to become a councillor in Fort St. John, while mayor Lori Ackerman is still the only declared candidate for mayor. All current incumbent councillors with the lone exception of Trevor Bolin have filed their nomination papers, along with Becky Grimsrud, Tony Zabinsky, and Justin Jones.
In Dawson Creek, incumbent mayor Dale Bumstead is still the only mayoral candidate that has submitted nomination papers.
As for the rest of Council, incumbents Charlie Parslow, Shaely Wilbur, Cheryl Shuman, and Paul Gevatkoff are officially running for re-election along with newcomer Jerimy Earl.
In Chetwynd, the list of candidates has grown to five: four for council and one for mayor. Councillor Alec Brownlee has officially submitted nomination papers to be elected as the District’s next mayor, while incumbent Merlin Nichols, who has been the District’s mayor since 2011, has not yet officially submitted his nomination. Incumbent councillors Rochelle Galbraith and Mel Deck are officially running for re-election, along with newcomers Jocelyn Disher and Janet Wark.
Hudson’s Hope looks to be getting a new mayor as Dave Heiberg is the only candidate to have so far submitted paperwork. The District’s Chief Electoral Officer Tammy McKeon said that current mayor Gwen Johansson has verbally indicated that she will not be running for re-election.
The race for District Council currently only has three official candidates: incumbents Kelly Miller and Mattias Gibbs, along with newcomer Val Pace.
In the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, there are six candidates currently officially running, five of whom are incumbents. Incumbent councillors Kyle Andrews, Laurie Dolan, Lorraine Gerwing, and Danny Soles have submitted their nomination papers.
Bill Streeper, who has served as mayor since 2008, is officially running for re-election. He faces a challenge from Gary Foster, who was elected to both Fort Nelson Village Council and the former Fort Nelson-Liard Regional District Board in 1999, serving for only that year.
In Pouce Coupe, the list of candidates has dropped from four to three after councillor Andre Lavoie withdrew his bid so unseat Lorraine Michetti from the mayor’s chair. Meanwhile, incumbent councillor Barbara Smith is seeking re-election along with Donna White, who was elected to public office prior to 2014.
So far, only two incumbents have submitted nomination papers in Taylor: mayor Rob Fraser and councillor Betty Ponto.
Tumbler Ridge currently has the most number of officially-declared candidates in Northeast B.C.: four candidates for mayor and six candidates for council. Of the four mayoral candidates, only two previously served on District Council in the community: incumbent mayor Don McPherson and former councillor Jerrilyn Schembri. The two are joined by Garret Golhof and Keith Bertrand, neither of whom has been previously elected to public office.
Monty Hendrickson, Bernie Lehmann, Curtis Miedzinski, and Chris Norbury have thrown their hats in the ring to become councillors, along with incumbents Darryl Krakowka and Joanne Kirby.
In the Peace River Regional District, the only official candidates so far are the four incumbent Electoral Area Directors: Karen Goodings, Brad Sperling, Leonard Hiebert, and Dan Rose.
The nomination period officially closes at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 14th.