Dundas councillor Russ Powers backs Brad Clark for mayor

Brad Clark’s mayoral campaign won the endorsement of Dundas councillor Russ Powers on Tuesday while Brian McHattie trumpets the backing of musician Tom Wilson.

Clark among mayoral frontrunners along with Brian McHattie and Fred Eisenberger

Longtime Dundas Councillor Russ Powers, left, officially endorsed mayoral candidate Brad Clark on Tuesday morning. Powers was also named an honourary co-chair of Clark's campaign. (John Rieti/CBC)

Brad Clark’s mayoral campaign won the endorsement of Dundas councillor Russ Powers on Tuesday.

And at roughly the same time Powers' endorsement was being announced, mayor candidate Brian McHattie was trumpeting the endorsement of  prominent Hamilton musician Tom Wilson, and an upcoming musical benefit and rally featuring a number of local performers.

Powers, the councillor for Ward 13, will also become an honourary co-chair of Clark’s campaign. Powers says he will help with policy and governance issues, not day-to-day campaigning, and will not share a list of people who donated to his campaign.

The longtime councillor and former MP said he will also help Clark interpret decisions coming from the provincial and federal governments that pertain to Hamilton.

Unlike my opponents, when I’m talking in downtown Hamilton, or in downtown Dundas ... it’s the exact same message.- Brad Clark, mayoral candidate

“I still have a lot of fingers there,” Powers said said.

Clark made the announcement official at a Tuesday morning news conference in Dundas.

“He doesn’t make decisions lightly. So for me to have Russ’s endorsement and support in the manner that he’s offered it is an honour and privilege for me,” Clark said, adding it sends an “incredibly strong message” to the rest of the community.

Powers said his decision to support Clark was solidified by the mayoral candidates anti-LRT stance. He said he agreed with Clark's position that the money for LRT would be better spent creating a "fully-enhanced" bus transit system. 

Powers also praised Clark for operating a satellite office in Dundas. “He hasn’t forgotten about these communities,” Powers said.

Clark also seized the opportunity to take a shot at his main opponents, Brian McHattie and Fred Eisenberger.

"Unlike my opponents, when I’m talking in downtown Hamilton, or in downtown Dundas or Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Binbrook it’s the exact same message. It’s not being changed because it’s in a different part of the region,” he said.

Clark claimed his opponents have said the only place to invest in Hamilton is the downtown core.

Musician sings McHattie's praises

Meanwhile, McHattie's campaign held an event to highlight his endorsement from several high profile local musicians, including Tom Wilson.

“Brian is the last honest man in town. I’ve dealt with Brian. I know that he deals fairly and he deals from his heart. What you get from Brian is real,” Wilson said in a news release put out by the McHattie camp.

Wilson will be joined by Elliott Brood, Steve Strongman and Harrison Kennedy at a fundraiser called Musicians for McHattie which is set for Sept. 23.

Eisenberger, who has previously picked up the endorsement of former mayor Larry Di Ianni, said he expects more backers in the coming weeks.

"Every campaign will have its share of endorsements," he said in a statement sent to CBC Hamilton.

"I have already announced a major endorsement some months ago and plan to announce more as the campaign progresses."

Nine other candidates are also running for mayor.