Can­di­dates ex­pect spir­ited but cor­dial race

Medicine Hat News - - COMMUNITY - WEST - COLLIN GAL­LANT cgal­lant@medicine­hat­ Twit­ter: CollinGal­lant

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.

Ted Clugston

Scott Raible

John Hamill

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