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Old 07-09-2007, 09:45 PM  
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Default The race is a solo one with no opponents announced yet

Mandel runs for mayor again
The race is a solo one with no opponents announced yet

Fri, September 7, 2007

Although a serious challenger has yet to step forward, Mayor Stephen Mandel kicked off his bid for re-election last night to the cheers and applause of his supporters.

“Campaigns are always about reflections and assessment. They are about judging,” the mayor told the gathered crowd at his campaign headquarters at 10010 109 St. “Campaigns are always a place where support has to be found.”

Mandel said he was inspired by the positive reaction to the theme his campaign floated two weeks ago – Edmonton Rising.

“I’m honestly inspired because the people of the city have such strong, consistent interest in securing our success,” he said.

But there were critics, too.

“I don’t know what on earth he was thinking,” U of A political scientist Jim Lightbody told Sun Media at the time. “Edmonton Rising? From what?”

Lightbody called the slogan “meaningless, feel-good and without substance.”

The mayor said Edmonton has a lot at stake and it needs to rise and “build on its successes” so that the city is “not just another stop on the bitumen highway,” referring to the economic boom fuelled by the oilsands.

New billboards with the slogan “Your City, My Passion” were erected by his campaign team recently. The mayor wouldn’t say if that slogan replaces Edmonton Rising.

“It’s a start, which is about improving the city and the opportunities here,” he said, adding people should watch for more campaign tag lines along the way.

Volunteer and sign-request sheets were scattered at tables at Mandel’s headquarters, which still had rainbow-coloured wall paintings because it’s the former office of the Pride Centre of Edmonton, a gay and lesbian support group.

Campaign manager David McCalla said they are looking for about 1,000 volunteers, similar to last election, to work in the office, make calls, knock on doors and distribute flyers.

“People that care about the future of our city and want to be engaged in our community,” are the type of volunteers the team is looking for, McCalla said.

He said it’s too early to tell whether the incumbent mayor will be on a solo race. Four other potential candidates have expressed interest in challenging Mandel and more nomination forms have been picked up from the city clerk’s office, he added.

“Until Sept. 17, we don’t know who else will be running,” McCalla said.

And even if the mayor will run unopposed, “every vote has to be earned and Edmontonians deserve no less than that,” he said.

“Whether or not, there’s someone running against me, which there will be, it’s still important that I get the mandate to take forward for the city of Edmonton and I think that’s important and vital for the future of the city,” Mandel said.

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