Today is the last day for Montreal city councillors vying for the job of temporary mayor to declare their candidacy, in the wake of former mayor Michael Applebaum's arrest on fraud and conspiracy charges last Monday and his sudden departure from the mayor's post onTuesday.
The job of standing in as Montreal's mayor for the next four months already seems to be the hottest gig in town.
There are now four declared candidates for the post, and at least one more is expected to step forward on Friday.
Deputy Mayor and Lachine councillor Jane Cowell-Poitras — who has been filling in as acting mayor since Michael Applebaum's departure — now says she is ready to stay in the job until November's election.
She is not running for her council seat in November, and she says since she is quitting politics, she wouldn't use the office of interim mayor to gain any political advantage.
Harout Chitilian, 33, doesn't hide his own political ambitions. He has been serving as city council's speaker, which he says proves he can be neutral.
He, too, is ready to test-drive the mayor's job until November.
"In the long term," Chitilian says, "becoming mayor of Montreal might be an interest."
Two borough mayors, Alan DeSousa and François Croteau, threw their hats into the ring officially on Wednesday.
The head of the city's executive committee, Laurent Blanchard, says he'll declare his interest this morning.
Another councillor whose name has been bandied about, Helen Fotopulos, has made it clear she is not seeking the job.