New Maryland voters will be heading to polls in two weeks to fill a vacant council position and a teenager in the village is hoping his candidacy will spur interest in the race.
Sean Kenney, 18, was canvassing on Wednesday afternoon in the ward he hopes to represent after the May 12 byelection.
There are four candidates vying for a spot on New Maryland council but Kenney said he hopes people will value a fresh face over experience.
"I’m going to try because it’s for my village and, no, it’s not like I’m jumping into federal politics. I know I don’t have the experience for that," Kenney said.
"But I’d love to get involved and I’d love to make this village a better place."
Kenney said he decided several months ago that he would put his name on the ballot.
Now that he’s knocking on doors in his area, Kenney said he’s hoping to prove to voters that he will be their voice on the village council.
While he is a young person, Kenney said one of his main priorities is focusing on people who are much older than him.
"One of the main things is taking care of our seniors, they are the ones who started the village," he said.
Kenney isn’t alone on the hustings. He has been able to attract an experienced politician to advise him.
David Weizel was the first mayor of New Maryland in 1991 and he knows what it’s like to be a teenage candidate.
"I ran for municipal council in Nashwaaksis in 1971, right after [former premier] Richard Hatfield lowered the voting age from 21 to 18," Weizel said.
Weizel didn't win that election in 1971, but he blames his platform and not his age for that defeat.
He said it’s important for New Maryland to put a person on village council that has a new perspective on politics.
"It's the perfect time to elect someone as young as Sean is, who has thought about this and comes with some fresh ideas,” he said.
Kenney said if he doesn’t win on May 12, he plans to stay active in his community.
The other byelection candidates are:
- Bill O'Donnell
- Mike Pope
- Daniel Taylor