Hamilton

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger announces he won't seek re-election

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger announced Monday morning that he won't seek re-election when the next municipal vote is held, on Oct. 24.

Municipal election is Oct. 24

Mayor Fred Eisenberger said Monday he won't seek re-election after three terms as mayor, the last two consecutively. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger announced Monday morning that he won't seek re-election.

Eisenberger said in a news release it's time for him "to move on to the next chapter of his life."

The municipal election takes place on Oct. 24. 

Eisenberger was elected mayor in 2006, defeating incumbent Larry DiIanni by just 452 votes, one of the closest mayoral races in Hamilton's history. He was defeated in 2010 by Bob Bratina and then, in 2014, defeated current Ward 9 (upper Stoney Creek) Coun. Brad Clark to return as mayor. He easily won re-election in 2018.

"I have always done my best for the people of Hamilton, and as much as I have loved serving as your mayor, doing my best now requires that I not put my name on the ballot in the 2022 municipal election," Eisenberger said. 

"I hope I have moved the marker on several issues, such as downtown redevelopment, affordable housing, revitalizing waterfront, building our economy and public transit including the LRT, among many others.

"I arrived in Hamilton as an eight-year-old immigrant kid not speaking a word of English," Eisenberger said. "I am forever thankful to the people of Hamilton for the honour and the privilege of serving them as their mayor." 

Who'll be the next mayor?

Candidates have until Aug. 19 to file their nomination, nominate for a different office or withdraw their nomination.

So far, only three candidates have declared their intention to run for mayor, including:

  • Bratina, who stepped down as the Liberal MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek because of his own government's support for light-rail transit in Hamilton.
  • Keanin Loomis, who resigned as CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce when he announced in January that he would run for mayor. 
  • Ejaz Butt, a former taxi industry leader and community activist, who ran in 2014, finishing sixth. 

The election will bring considerable change to Hamilton City Hall.

In addition to having a new mayor, there will be new councillors in Wards 15, 11, 5 and 4.

Councillors Judi Partridge, Brenda Johnson, Russ Powers and Sam Merulla also aren't running again.

There has been some speculation on social media whether former Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath would run for mayor after announcing on election night June 2 that she was stepping down as leader. 

The Hamilton Centre MPP confirmed to CBC Hamilton that she is not ready to make any announcements regarding Hamilton's municipal election, but her "heart is always in Hamilton."

"Leadership isn't easy and Hamilton has seen its fair share of challenges over the last few years," Horwath said in a statement.

"As the MPP for Hamilton Centre, I have always been able to count on Fred to be the kind of mayor that will always pick up the phone."

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