Hamilton

Keanin Loomis running for mayor, will step down as CEO of Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

The CEO of Hamilton's Chamber of Commerce is stepping down to run for mayor in the upcoming municipal election.

Keanin Loomis announced he would join the mayoral race Wednesday morning

Keanin Loomis announced he's running for mayor. (Submitted by Keanin Loomis)

The CEO of Hamilton's Chamber of Commerce is stepping down to run for mayor in the upcoming municipal election.

Keanin Loomis announced he would join the mayoral race Wednesday morning.

"Change isn't just what I'm looking for it's what everybody I talk to seems to be looking for," he told CBC Hamilton on Wednesday. "I know I have a lot more to give this community and I'm ready to do that."

Loomis, who turns 47 next Tuesday, moved to Hamilton in 2009 after practicing law for five years in Washington D.C. He graduated from the University of Waterloo and the William and Mary School of Law in the U.S.

He lives in the west end with his wife and three children.

Loomis said Marie Nash, current chief operating officer of the chamber, will be interim CEO as the organization searches nation-wide for a new leader.

Unclear who else is running for mayor

Aside from leading the city's chamber, Loomis is also a board member with the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority. He's been a member of numerous city committees as well.

He said he's an "unpolitician" having never run for office before, but running for mayor has always been in the back of his mind.

It's unclear what competition Loomis will face.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger said in December he's "definitely up for" running but it's "still an open question."

Former councillor, mayor and MP Bob Bratina told The Hamliton Spectator he would make a decision on whether he's running for mayor by the end of January.

Loomis said he's most proud of helping businesses through the pandemic and convincing city council to opt in to the private sector sale of cannabis.

He said he'll be pushing to get Hamilton's LRT built.

Eisenberger has fought to make the LRT a reality while Bratina opposed it.

Loomis' announcement also follows signs of a public appetite for new faces and voices within city council.

The group iElect Hamilton has been advocating for new candidates to unseat some current councillors.

Ward 4 is poised to see a new councillor with Sam Merulla's retirement and Ward 5 may see a new councillor as it is currently held by former councillor Russ Powers in an interim role.

With files from Saira Peesker

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