Former Manitoba Liberal leader Bokhari enters Winnipeg mayoral race

Former Manitoba Liberal leader Rana Bokhari wants to be Winnipeg's next mayor, and has joined eight other people who have so far registered their campaigns.

9 candidates now registered in wide-open race to succeed departing Brian Bowman

Former Manitoba Liberal leader Rana Bokhari has registered to run for mayor. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Former Manitoba Liberal leader Rana Bokhari wants to be Winnipeg's next mayor.

Bokhari, who served as the provincial Liberal leader from 2013 to 2016 but did not sit in the Manitoba Legislature, registered her mayoral campaign on Friday.

The Winnipeg lawyer said she is running to ensure young people do not leave Winnipeg, which she said she will do by making everyone feel included.

"Embracing the diversity of our citizens is always going to be the key to Winnipeg," she said in an interview.

"I want to demonstrate that everyone, especially historically marginalized people, does not only deserve a seat at the table, but they need to be heard."

Bokhari said she plans to spend the next two weeks knocking on doors and will compile what people tell her into her campaign platform.

She is now the ninth candidate vying to succeed departing Mayor Brian Bowman, who is not seeking a third term this October.

Bokhari joins biosystems engineer Idris Ademuyiwa Adelakun, grocery worker Chris Clacio, St. James Coun. Scott Gillingham, former provincial policy advisor Shaun Loney, business consultant Jenny Motkaluk, former Liberal MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Wilderness Supply owner Rick Shone and security company owner Don Woodstock.

As well, Manitoba Families Minister Rochelle Squires has said she will announce her mayoral intentions after the legislative session ends on June 1.

"I am very encouraged by the many calls from Winnipeggers I've received and I am honoured to have their trust and confidence," Squires said in a statement.

Registration is required to allow candidates to raise or spend money on their campaigns. To appear on the ballot, candidates must also complete a nomination process in September.

In her sole run for provincial office, in 2016, Bokhari finished third in the Winnipeg constituency of Fort Rouge, behind NDP Leader Wab Kinew and PC candidate Audrey Gordon, who won a seat in 2019 and is now Manitoba's health minister.

Bokhari said she has more experience with campaigns now.

"At that time I didn't know what I didn't know. I definitely had no idea that there would be such a vicious response to me: bullying, death threats, constant disparaging remarks," she said.

Bokhari said broadcaster Tracy Koga is serving as her campaign manager.