Candidates expect spirited but cordial race
The more the merrier, says Ted Clugston of what’s forming to be a three — or perhaps more — person race for the city’s top job, but the incumbent mayoral candidate told a crowd of supporters that anyone running for office “better do their home work.”
“New candidates are going to be talking about vision for change,” he said at his campaign launch on Wednesday. “You need to ask them about their vision and what they plan to change. Usually, it stops there.”
Later, he told reporters that, quips aside, he expects a cordial and spirited race.
“It’s not a surprise; it’s good. People want to see issues come forward.”
The News first reported that former alderman John Hamill planned to file papers to oppose Clugston on nomination day next Monday.
Broadcaster and teacher Scott Raible announced his candidacy on Labour Day Weekend.
Raible said Thursday he also hopes the campaign will concentrate on issues, not personal attacks, but added that his experience is as a taxpayer, business owner and having raised a family in Medicine Hat.
“It’s great that the people of Medicine Hat will get a real choice at the ballot box,” said Raible.
“The recent decision of council, there’s been a disconnect with economic realities people face. That’s more of a negative than council experience would be a positive.”
Hamill said previous council experience mixed with a fresh perspective after several years away was the best combination for him.
“It’s easy enough to get up to speed,” he said, and for navigating council’s operations, “I’ve been in tight spots before and have survive.”
Clugston, who announced in January his plan to seek a second term, launched his campaign Wednesday at his mother’s house.
He announced his 2013 campaign for mayor at a similar event before a crowd that included Hamill.
Hamill said Thursday that he predicted a clean race and current candidates will debate their cases.
“I think we’ll keep it above the belt,” he said. “It’ll be a straight up, the best man wins.”
Clugston said he’s looking forward to the campaign.
“John and I know each other and have worked together,” said Clugston. “We’ll be good during (this campaign) and after.
“Raible, I don’t know so much, but he seems a good family man and has strong religious (convictions).” Candidates have until noon on Sept. 18 to file official nomination forms. Medicine Hatters go to the polls for general voting on Oct. 16.
Barring a surprise entry into the race, Hatters will have three names on a mayoral ballot for a third time since 2004.
Four candidates contested the 2013 election. Five candidates vied to win the 2007 election after two-term mayor Garth Vallely announced his retirement.