Nova Scotia

Last-minute entry by TikTok star makes it a three-way race for mayor of Halifax

Three people are running to be mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality in next month's election, with a young newcomer putting his name in with the incumbent mayor and a councillor. 

Max Taylor filed papers just before the nomination deadline and will run against Mike Savage and Matt Whitman

It's now a three-way race for the mayor's seat in Halifax for the upcoming municipal election. Colleen Jones has this story. 2:53

Three people are running to be mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality in next month's election, with a young TikTok star putting his name in against the incumbent mayor and a long-time councillor. 

Max Taylor added his name to the list late Tuesday. His social media profile says he's 22 and wants to be mayor of the "greatest city in the world."

"When I heard that only 26 percent of eligible voters turned out for the last municipal election, just building enthusiasm around the idea of voting is what inspired me," Taylor said.

Taylor will be running against Mike Savage, who will be campaigning for the job for a third time, and Matt Whitman, who has been a councillor in Hammonds Plains since 2012.

No door-to-door campaigning

Both Savage and Whitman had already nixed the idea of putting up election signs before the pandemic hit. Neither are planning to go door-to-door canvassing either because of COVID-19.

"Most folks are very leery about a stranger knocking on the door," explained Whitman. "The only time I get to meet with folks is if they've invited me to come speak in their kitchen, or their cul-de-sac or in their neighbourhood park."

Savage said he's had a similar experience. 

"It's not ideal by any circumstance, you know we're going to have to be creative," said Savage. "There will be some events and I will show up at events with social distancing and masks where appropriate."

The three candidates running for mayor in the Halifax Regional Municipality are Matt Whitman, left, Mike Savage, centre, and Max Taylor. (CBC/Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press/Max Emerson Taylor for Mayor/Facebook)

Taylor said even though he has never taken part in a municipal election campaign before, this is a perfect time because social media is where he shines. He has more than 633,000 followers on TikTok.

Municipal candidates have until the end of business hours on Wednesday to withdraw. So far there are just over 80 candidates running across 15 districts. About 28 per cent of them are women. In the 2016 election 12 of 50 candidates were women, or about 24 per cent.

The only district where only one candidate is running, and who will therefore be acclaimed, is in District 16 Bedford-Wentworth, which will continue to be represented by Tim Outhit.

There will be at least five new faces at council because the current councillors are not re-offering in districts 3, 4, 10, 11 and 13. The races in Cole Harbour and Spryfield each have a dozen candidates vying for the councillor position.

The municipal election will be held Oct. 17.

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