Calls to drop out of mayoral race won't sway Smith, Chabot

Both Bill Smith and Andre Chabot say they've received calls and messages suggesting they should drop out — making it easier to defeat incumbent mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Suggestions call for one candidate to drop out to avoid vote splitting, making it easier to defeat Nenshi

Calgary mayoral candidates Andre Chabot and Bill Smith both say they have not plans to suspend their campaigns. (CBC)

Two high-profile candidates running to be Calgary's mayor say they've had people encouraging them to drop out of the race.

Both Bill Smith and Andre Chabot say they've received calls and messages suggesting they should drop out — making it easier to defeat incumbent mayor Naheed Nenshi. 

Bill Smith has topped one poll in the campaign so far, yet he says he's getting messages from some people asking him to wrap up his mayoral campaign.

"I have, I think, even this morning received a DM [direct message] that said I should drop out of the race because we're splitting the vote," Smith said.

Longtime city councillor Andre Chabot says he's been getting calls to drop out of the mayor's race for a few months.

"They started fairly heavily before any polling came out and then it started getting a little bit nasty after polls came out. Some people made threatening kind of statements," he said. 

No plans to suspend campaigns

The threats, Chabot said, included statements like he would be "politically dead" in this province if he didn't drop out and he would be ostracized because he didn't back out to allow another candidate a chance to win.

Both men say they will not suspend their campaigns and neither one is calling on the other to pull out of the race.

"The democratic process says anybody that pays their $500 and gets their names can run, and we're absolutely fine with that and that's been our position from our beginning," Smith said, adding he thinks Chabot is a "good guy."

Smith said he's listening to Calgarians who want change and he can take their ideas to city hall.

Chabot said Smith has no experience in municipal politics and that voters should look to his record on city council as proof he can be trusted to replace Nenshi.