Mayor Lee Brain talks about his vision for Prince Rupert at the Hays 2.0 event on April 25, 2018. He will be the city’s mayor by acclamation. (Marc Fawcett-Atkinson / The Northern View)

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Without contest, Prince Rupert’s mayor will serve a second term by acclamation – just one of the city leaders across the province who won’t be needing to campaign.

Mayor by acclamation is not uncommon for the 2018 election. Across cities, districts, villages and towns there are 36 candidates who will automatically become mayor, according to CivicInfo BC, a non-profit that collects its data from local Chief Election Officers.

Out of the 162 B.C. municipalities, 35 regions will have a candidate named as mayor without any challengers, or 22 per cent. On that list, 26 candidates are incumbents.

“Running for elected office is expensive and potentially humiliating. Rational candidates avoid contests against incumbents because these contests are much harder to win,” Michael Brydon said, who is both a professor at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University, and on the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. After three terms he’s not running for re-election, and when the news broke he said six new candidates submitted for his seat.

Another political expert, Jason Morris, a political science lecturer at the University of Northern B.C., said he expected the number of mayors by acclamation to be higher due to changes in the term length to four years, from three years previously, and new restrictions on party financing. But “that hasn’t seemed to be the case,” he said.

READ MORE: Mayor runs unchallenged in Prince Rupert

“The large number of mayors that will be acclaimed in the coming civic elections on October 20 would suggest a lack of competition in many communities and as well the possibility, on the campaign trail, for less diverse views to be represented that can be later worked into social policy,” Morris said.

On Facebook, Brain addressed “Rupertites” about being named their mayor.

“Although I’ve been acclaimed, I want folks to know that this only further motivates me to kick it up a notch to spark major change and transformation in Prince Rupert.”

Formally, Brain will be acclaimed the end of Friday, Sept. 21, after the challenge and withdrawal period.

“You’ll be hearing more from me during this campaign period, but for now, I just want to thank everyone for their support, guidance and for sharing their concerns with me over these past four years. Listening is how I plan, design and implement a vision/path/way forward for our community,” Brain said in his post.

In the 2014 elections, Prince Rupert had four mayoral candidates and a 45.5 per cent voter turnout. Terrace had two mayoral candidates and a 31.6 per cent voter turn out. But with no race for the top spot, there is concern that if the mayor’s position is sorted before the elections voter turnout could be even lower.



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bc election

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Two ways to celebrate Business Excellence Awards this Saturday in Penticton

Chamber offers in-person and virtual options to congratulate business and community leaders

South Okanagan businesses surveyed on impact of COVID-19 during summer

Hospitality businesses are being asked to fill out a questionnaire

RCMP seeking witnesses to fatal Peachland motorcycle crash on Highway 97

One person died following a motorcycle crash south of Peachland on Sunday afternoon

Out of character for Okanagan woman to go missing

Karee Lynn Kamis, 64, was last seen in Penticton on Sept. 18

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Motorcycle rider identified following fatal crash in Peachland

Michael Odenbach died in a motorcycle collision on Sept. 27

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Shuswap BC SPCA launches spay/neuter program for low-income residents

Program available to low-income residents in the region

More victims possible in Okanagan assault case

Vernon police have a man in custody but feel there could be more victims in the case

Most Read