A prematurely published website stole some of his thunder, but Andre Chabot has made it official: he's running for mayor.
The longtime Ward 10 councillor will challenge incumbent Naheed Nenshi in the 2017 civic election, set for Oct. 16.
"It's going to take a lot of convincing to get people on board, I get that. I've never shied away from a fight before," Chabot told The Calgary Eyeopener Wednesday morning.
"I think the culture within the city of Calgary has devolved over time. It seems to be a more adversarial sort of fashion as it exists now."
When asked whether that culture starts with Nenshi, Chabot said yes, in a roundabout sort of way.
"In my opinion, as a plumber would say, effluent tends to flow downhill," he said.
Ward boundary changes
Chabot is the most high-profile candidate to officially declare against the still-popular Nenshi, joining businessman Shawn Baldwin and former Ward 8 candidate David Lapp in the race.
Speculation about Chabot picked up steam last week when a shell website, chabot4calgary.com, appeared online, with language suggesting he will run for mayor, rather than the east-Calgary ward he's represented since 2005.
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The announcement comes as Chabot, who has lived in Ward 10 since 1971, faces a radically different ward boundary in the coming election after a review to fix imbalances in ward populations.
Eight communities were moved from Ward 10 to Ward 9. Another seven communities were added to Ward 10 from Ward 5.
Chabot said he doesn't have the war chest he needs for this fight yet, but he's hoping those who offered words of support, will also offer cash.
The councillor is known as a fiscal hawk and has volunteered on the Calgary-East Conservative Riding Association, but he's no ideologue.
During the great Calgary cycle track fight(s), Chabot voted for the pilot and to make the lanes permanent based on the arguments presented, and has been a champion of the 17th Avenue S.E. redevelopment and transitway.
He's also a champion of the status quo when it comes to secondary suites in the city, arguing it makes sense for those wanting to develop or legalize suites to appear before city council for approval.
He said he'll fight for better use of tax dollars if he's mayor, arguing too much is being spent on capital projects rather than operations.
"It erodes away the intent of what that tax was for," he said.
Some of Chabot's council colleagues were happy with his decision to enter the race.
"The more people the better in these races," said Coun. Richard Pootmans.
Coun. Sean Chu said he's happy a fiscal conservative like Chabot is in the race.
As of Tuesday, there are 64 names on the city's official candidate registry, meaning they can begin raising money for their council campaigns.
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