Manitoba

Winnipeggers to elect new mayor

Winnipeggers go to the polls to elect a new mayor on Tuesday and they have a wide field of nine candidates from which to choose.

Winnipeggers go to the polls to elect a new mayor on Tuesday and they have a wide field of nine candidates from which to choose.

Political analysts say the outcome will depend largely on the ability of the candidates to get people out to vote for them.

Dan Vandal's campaign organizers say a poll published in the weekend newspaper has given them what they need to push their support over the top. The poll identified Sam Katz as the clear front runner.

Vandal's camp says those who don't want Katz to win are showing up at Vandal's headquarters offering support.

• Golden seeks help to get voters out •

Al Golden says he'll be operating his free bus service for seniors in St. Vital to get voters out, but he admits he can only do so much.

"If every bus went as fast as the speed limit allowed them, you could only move 2,000 people," says Golden. "I have a plea: adopt a senior. I can't do it all myself. Take them out to vote."

The campaign organizer for Sam Katz, Hugh McFadyen, says while name recognition is high, Katz still faces obstacles.

"Part of the challenge is we haven't had the same headstart as some of the other campaigns in building up our lists."

• Steek denies accusations •

Garth Steek says despite accusations from two city councillors, he is not stepping aside to clear a victory for Katz.

Steek is referring to news reports that his campaign had become low key, in order to support Katz.

While discounting the claims as untrue, Steek admits one of his supporters, Coun. Russ Wyatt, has been critical of the way he ran his campaign.

"He thought I wasn't directing the campaign in the way he would like to see things happening," says Steek. "He wanted me to take some very aggressive personal stances against people and I wouldn't do it."

• Other seats up for election •

Many Winnipegers will be voting for more than just mayor.

Voters in River Heights and St. Boniface are also electing new city councillors, as Dan Vandal and Garth Steek resigned their seats when they decided to run for mayor.

In the provincial constituency of Minto, a new MLA will be elected as mayoral candidate, MaryAnn Mihychuk, stepped down when she entered the race.

The other candidates for mayor are Gordon Kirkby, Natalie Pollock, Shirley Timm-Rudolph and Nelson Morrison.

The polls are open until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

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