judy wasylycia-leis

Judy Wasylycia-Leis ran and lost to Sam Katz in Winnipeg's 2010 municipal election. (CBC)

Judy Wasylycia-Leis's house is going to be packed Sunday.

The former NDP MP who lost her mayoral bid to Sam Katz last time around is holding the first of a number of public meetings to gauge whether she should run again.

Wasylycia-Leis said she had planned to hold the Feb. 2 event at the Park Theatre.

But city officials told her candidates, even those merely thinking of running for the city's top job, cannot raise or spend money until the official campaign period begins in May of the election year.

Wasylycia-Leis said the city's crack-down on even potential candidates could cause a chilll.

"It sends the wrong message to people thinking about getting involved in politics," she said. "It puts another obstacle in place to newcomers to the political scene who might want to run for office and get involved in a very active way and are told, here's another road block."

Former city councillor Gord Steeves ran afoul of the rules when he spent money to announce he was running last year.

Wasylycia-Leis said it's important to her to hear what Winnipeggers want, rather than just making the decision on her own.

She said the last campaign was hard-fought, and a lesson for her about city politics. 

She said that's made it a more difficult decision this time around.

"I have to be sure ... I've got the support that is needed to weather many storms and many obstacles along the way."