Meet Edmonton's mayoral candidates for 2021 civic election

An evolving list of mayoral candidates for the upcoming fall civic election.

CBC Edmonton is tracking the new mayoral candidates as they file their nomination papers

CBC Edmonton is keeping track of mayoral candidates as they file their nomination papers at Edmonton City Hall. (Natasha Riebe/CBC)

Cheryll Watson

Cheryll Watson was the first person to announce her run for mayor in the upcoming civic election this fall. 

Even though Watson has no political experience, she said the council is ready for some external perspective. 

Watson has worked more than 20 years with mostly technology and innovation organizations, including four years as vice-president of Innovate Edmonton, a division of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

She co-founded the Alberta Innovation Corridor partnership and was a member of the Business Council of Alberta's advisory board for the tech, innovation and telecom sector, providing policy recommendations to the premier's office. 

Mike Nickel

Current Edmonton city councillor Mike Nickel has once again thrown his hat in the rink for the mayoral race. 

He said Edmontonians have been asking him to run for the past year-and-a-half. After talking to his wife, he decided to do so.

Nickel has been a councillor three times. He was first elected in 2004 in Ward 5 but lost the councillor's seat in 2007 to Don Iveson. In 2013, Nickel was elected as the councillor for Ward 11, where he was re-elected in 2017.

Nickel has also run for mayor twice before, in 1998 and 2001, defeated both times by Bill Smith.

At city council, Nickel has developed a reputation for opposing tax increases and any regulation that he believes opposes businesses. 

Kim Krushell

Former Edmonton city councillor Kim Krushell announced her decision to run for mayor on Jan. 27 in front of Edmonton City Hall. 

Krushell was a councillor for Ward 2 for three consecutive terms before stepping down in 2013 to spend more time with her family.

Krushell was involved in the decision to shut down the Edmonton City Centre airport, now the community of Blatchford, in 2010. 

She also created Edmonton's NextGen, a task force created to conduct public consultations on arts and culture, business opportunities, sports and education in the city. The task force is still active today, led by Coun. Andrew Knack.

Brian (Breezy) Gregg

Edmonton musician Brian Gregg is seeking the mayor's chair for a second time. Gregg first campaigned for the city's top job in 1998.

On his campaign website, Gregg lists his platform priorities. A partial list: getting big money out of politics, affordable housing, free transit, free Wi-Fi, promoting "unionization of all essential workers" and strengthening library services.

Gregg also advocates freezing the police budget and investing in alternative strategies to reduce crime and deal with problems arising from addictions and mental health.

Diana Steele

Diana Steele is president of the Crestwood Community League. She has been a community volunteer since her teen years, she says on her website. Steele says she has run three small businesses and has taught business courses at NorQuest College.

Her platform priorities include a review of the property tax system "to determine if it is transparent, structured properly, and fair." She also advocates supporting local business, working to end homelessness, and stronger partnerships with community leagues.

Michael Oshry

Michael Oshry represented Ward 5 on city council from 2013 until 2017. An entrepreneur, he founded FIRMA Foreign Exchange and more recently Blue Pen Capital, which finances small and medium-sized builders, mostly with infill projects.

In a statement on social media Feb. 11, Oshry said he had filed his paperwork. The official launch to his campaign was on May 12.

"My experience first in small business, and then founding a big business, coupled with my experience on council, gives me a great perspective on how to nurture without stifling, and ultimately how to unleash the potential for the people here to build prosperity and a future that all our kids will want to stay for," Oshry said in a news release. "That's why I'm doing this."

Augustine Marah

Augustine Marah's website describes him as a long-term community activist involved in politics since 1984. He says he is an entepreneur who opened an operated an accredited private college in Edmonton for 20 years.

"I am running to become the mayor of Edmonton to contribute to the city that has made the most significant impact in my life," Marah says on the site. "Among other things, I am very concerned about the quality of life for Edmontonians, which begins with people's health and their environment."

He said he wants to improve and diversify job creation and to continue Mayor Don Iveson's work in reducing homelessness.

Amarjeet Sohi

Amarjeet Sohi represented Ward 12 on city council from 2007 to 2015 before being elected as a federal Liberal to represent the riding of Edmonton Mill Woods. 

On his campaign website, Sohi's municipal platform espouses combining "our economic values with our social values." Among priorities listed is addressing issues of homelessness, substance use, mental health and poverty as well as climate change.

"My priority is going to be [to] work with the community, come up with a robust plan for recovery and economic growth, but do it in a way that it helps everyone," Sohi said during his campaign announcement May 17.

At the federal level, Sohi held cabinet portfolios for infrastructure and then natural resources. He was defeated in the 2019 federal election.

Rick Comrie and Abdul Malik Chukwudi have also filed nomination papers.