One can only imagine the initial thought that ran through Mike Savage's
mind when he first heard the news that Mayor Peter Kelly will not be seeking
You could hardly fault him, if his first impulse was to run down to city
hall to check out his new digs. After all, in a poll released last week Savage
had a commanding lead with the support of 53% of decided voters, and that poll
was done when Kelly was still in the race, and before the stories broke of
Kelly's role as the executor of a widow's estate.
But as we all saw on Wednesday the political landscape can change
dramatically and quickly.
Don Mills, of Corporate Research Associates, who has conducted political
polls for years, knows that all too well. The campaign for the mayor's chair has
changed drastically, and Mills believes that with Kelly out, we may see new
candidates come forward.
"It may encourage other people who might have been thinking about it before
Savage got in, to think that they may have an opportunity now to get in," said
Mills points to NDP MLA Howard Epstein, who was interested but didn't want
to run against Kelly.
But Mills doesn't expect to see a rush of councillors jumping into the
race, saying, "any polling we've done that has run names of councillors, nobody
has any traction."
Mills says Kelly's departure will change the whole tenor of the campaign.
"The one good thing about the incumbent leaving the race, is the race will
become about the future, and a vision for the future, so it will be mostly a
positive campaign, rather than a negative one."
Right now there are four declared candidates: Mike Savage, former police
officer Tom Martin, salon owner Fred Connors, and Dal student Matthew Worona. If
Mills is right we can expect at least one more high profile candidate to join
So let's start the ball rolling. Who would you like to see join the list of
people vying to run our city? Think big. Think outside the box. And most
importantly share your wishlist with all of us by using our comments section
below. Who knows: maybe you'll help convince the next mayor of Halifax to join