Winnipeg mayoral candidates not bowing out of crowded right
Gord Steeves tells right-of-centre candidates to bow out of mayoral race in wake of poll results
Mayoral candidate Brian Bowman isn't going anywhere, despite a suggestion from Gord Steeves that some right-of-centre candidates should drop out of the race to be the next mayor of Winnipeg.
"This is the same old-school politics, the ‘let's make a deal’ style politics we've seen for some time that really people are tired of,” said Bowman. “We are really encouraged by the polls that have come out today.”
Bowman was asked at a press conference Friday if this is the first time Steeves has suggested he bow out.
“He has and then I declined,” said Bowman, adding the two met at Hy's restaurant about a year ago and Steeves asked him not to run for mayor. “He did before I entered and that's something that's not in the cards.”
Steeves, however, sees their meeting a little differently.
"I asked for his support. I was not aware that he was running," Steeves said.
The release came in the wake of two polls released Thursday that showed Judy Wasylycia-Leis was the front-runner among respondents to be the city's next mayor.
"My concern is, if Judy Wasylycia-Leis is elected, then the city government is going to be unduly affected and influenced by the NDP," said Steeves, who wants the city run by a candidate from a centre-right political standing.
"My message, it's no secret, is a centre-right message, and I think that message is the best message for the City of Winnipeg," he said.
Bowman also said if Steeves is worried about right-leaning candidates crowding the ballot, perhaps Steeves should be the one to step down.
“If that’s how strongly he believes, he could do the honourable thing and step down,” said Bowman.
Bowman and Steeves are battling it out for second place, according to the polls.
And Bowman thinks voters should have plenty of choice in the upcoming election.
"I think the more, the merrier,” said Bowman. “I think Gord Steeves is entitled to run, as is anyone else and I don't think because you've been there for a decade entitles you to be the only one running in a democratic city like we have."
Another candidate, Paula Havixbeck, will address Steeves remarks about right-of-centre candidates Friday.
Havixbeck tweeted Thursday night in response to Steeves’ comments.
"I didn't listen to that bully Steeves when I was on Council and I'm not about to now," she said.