Today was the deadline for those hoping to run in the next municipal election to file their papers.
At 9 am almost a third of the municipal races in Barrie only had one candidate, but by the 2 pm deadline, it was an entirely different story.
A last-minute application by Ram Faerber makes him the only person standing between Jeff Lehman and a third term as Barrie’s mayor.
“I am very happy that I’ve put my name into the race instead of giving Jeff Lehman a free pass. Without a mayoral race, we really don’t have an election,” Faerber said on Friday afternoon.
The recycling-business owner submitted his nomination papers Friday morning, saying he decided to run in the spirit of democracy.
“It’s only fair to give people a choice,” he says.
Jeff Lehman won the last election with 92 per cent of the vote and says the last-minute challenger doesn’t change his campaign strategy.
“Even if I didn’t get a candidate, I wanted to spend some time this fall knocking on doors, and actually getting my platform out; talking about what ‘s important for the next four years,” he said on Friday.
Barrie’s Ward 1 is the most hotly contested race with 9 candidates in the running,
including Shaughna Ainsworth, who’s been eagerly waiting for her mom, Councillor Bonnie Ainsworth, to retire.
“The strategy is just to do the work, quite frankly,” Shaughna says. “I’m not taking anything for granted. I think she’s done a good job, and I’d like to think the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.”
Councillor Mike Mccann was close to acclimation before two last-minute candidates changed his plans.
“I think that healthy competition is great,” he said. Makes me stronger and I think the people of ward 10 will have a good battle on their hands.”
Then there is Councillor Sergio Morales: the only one to run uncontested, but he admits, he was nervous.
“I expected an opponent. Until about a week and a half ago, I didn’t really pay attention to it,” he said outside of city hall on Friday. “Today I just kind of kept my eye on it, and ah, yeah…very sweaty,” he laughed. I had to change shirts.”
The only other Barrie Councillor sitting this election out is Arif Khan, who has officially decided not to run.
Voters in Barrie, and right across the province, will go to the polls on October 22nd.
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