The mayor’s race in Sudbury heated up on Tuesday, with outspoken council critic Dan Melanson throwing his name in the hat. But the big question is whether incumbent Marianne Matichuk will try to keep her job.

Dan Melanson has rarely had anything but harsh words for Sudbury city council in the past four years. But now, as a mayor candidate, he said he can work with any council that gets elected.

"If they want to stay with the old tried and true ways and butt heads? Well, guess what? I've got a very hard head and I'm quite willing to butt."

Coun. Dave Kilgour applauded Melanson for taking a keen interest in municipal politics — and for keeping councillors on their toes.

"Actually it might be interesting to see him win the thing and see how he reacts next year behind somebody else's eight ball,” Kilgour said.

Despite his past battles with council, Melanson said he believes he can build consensus with thosse elected to council in October.

Kilgour said he thinks that is within the realm of possibility.

“Consensus is something I think he has sought. I'm not sure he's gained it. But we'll see what happens. I've been at this game for 25 years and consensus is huge. But you don't get it by asking for it. You get it by action. So, we'll see."

Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk

One thing still to be seen is if Marianne Matichuk runs to keep the mayor's job. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada )

Coun. Ron Dupuis is also running for mayor.

In an interview with Radio-Canada, Dupuis said Melanson might find life as a politician is very different than speaking from the sidelines.

"Mr. Melanson...Ill est trouve c'est different."

As for incumbent mayor Marianne Matichuk, who was elected with Melanson's help in 2010, she refused to take questions from the press at Tuesday night’s council meeting — for the first time in many months.

Melanson said he didn't speak to her about his decision to run, but said they are still friends.

Melanson has now resigned as president of the Greater Sudbury Taxpayers Association lobby group.

There are two other candidates on the ballot for mayor in addition to Dupuis and Melanson: newcomer Jeff Huska and perennial candidate Ed Pokonzie.