FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the nomination period for next month’s municipal elections in B.C. officially closing tomorrow afternoon, several more candidates that have submitted their nomination papers in communities across Northeast B.C.
As of Thursday morning, there were still 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.
School District #60 officially has at least one race for the seven seats on the District’s Board of Trustees. One trustee is elected for each of the District’s outlying zones while three trustees represent Zone 5, which covers the City of Fort St. John.
Incumbent Board Chair Erin Evans, who was elected to Zone 2 in 2014, has submitted her nomination for one of the three Zone 5 seats, along with incumbent Darrell Pasichnyk. The two other candidates vying for a Zone 5 seat are Jeff Richert, who was a candidate to be elected MLA for Peace River North in the provincial election last year, and Helen Gilbert.
The lone other incumbent candidate running for the School Board is Zone 4 Trustee Ida Campbell. Madeleine Lehmann is the sole candidate for Zone 1, David Scott-Moncrieff is running in Zone 2, and Nicole Gilliss is running in Zone 3.
Former mayor and Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom has officially submitted his papers in a bid for a seat on City Council in Dawson Creek. Lekstrom previously served two terms as mayor of Dawson Creek prior serving as the South Peace MLA from 2001 to 2013.
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. Incumbent mayor Dale Bumstead is still the only mayoral candidate that has submitted nomination papers.
In Chetwynd, there are now seven candidates for District Council and one for mayor. Councillor Alec Brownlee and mayor Merlin Nichols will look to swap places as Nichols has submitted his nomination for a seat on Council, while Brownlee is so far the only mayoral candidate.
Incumbent councillors Clay Bassendowski and Laura Weisgerber have both joined Rochelle Galbraith and Mel Deck in their bids for re-election, along with newcomers Jocelyn Disher and Janet Wark.
In the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, there are now ten 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, along with newcomers Clayton Mollica, Todd Penney, John Roper, and Tanner Whidden.
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 now sits at four after councillor Andre Lavoie withdrew his bid to unseat Lorraine Michetti from the mayor’s chair. Lavoie has now launched his bid to be re-elected to Village Council along with incumbent councillor Barbara Smith. Donna White, who was elected to public office prior to 2014, is the fourth candidate.
Tumbler Ridge currently has 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.