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The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Victoria council race getting crowded

Cycling advocate John Luton is set to add his name to the list of candidates vying for a seat on Victoria's city council in the November 15 municipal election.

So is anti-poverty activist Rose Henry.

“I'd like to see more affordable housing for disenfranchised people,” said Henry. “Let's work at preventing more people ending up on the streets.”

Both Luton and Henry have run in the past. In 1999 Luton got 4,600 votes, just 210 short of winning a council seat. Henry won 3,339 votes in 2005 and 3,491 in 2002.

Victoria council incumbents Sonya Chandler, Christopher Coleman, Pamela Madoff, Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Geoff Young are expected to run again. With mayor Alan Lowe not seeking a fourth term, councillor Dean Fortin is running for mayor. Though incumbents are heavily favoured in civic elections, at least three of the eight seats will go to newcomers.

People set to run include the Downtown Residents' Association's chair Robert Randall, former NDP MP Lynn Hunter, 18-year-old Joseph Boutilier and Diana Smardon.

The Victoria News also lists other candidates “having already voiced their intention to run for council”: former councillor Pieta VanDyke, Vancouver Island Compassion Society executive director and housing advocate Philippe Lucas, David Burke, Gregory Hartnell, Allen Jones, Susan Woods and Michael Sharpe.

The August 29 article also listed shoe store owner Rob Reid as a council candidate, though he has since said he won't run. However, with developer Stan Sipos pulling out of the run for mayor, Reid, who earlier considered running for mayor, is again reportedly thinking about stepping up to the line.

Besides Fortin and possibly Reid, mayoral candidates include Simon Nattrass, Georgia Jones and John C. Turner.

In 2005, Victoria had five candidates for mayor and 28 for the eight council positions.

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