Scene set for municipal showdown

Nineteen candidates vying for Penticton mayor, council positions

  • Oct. 17, 2011 4:00 p.m.
Incumbent Mayor Dan Ashton (left) is being challenged for the top job at Penticton City Hall by Julius Bloomfield (centre) and Katie Robinson (right)

Incumbent Mayor Dan Ashton (left) is being challenged for the top job at Penticton City Hall by Julius Bloomfield (centre) and Katie Robinson (right)

The countdown is on.

In one month, Pentictonites will go to the polls to choose who they want to sit at the council table, and the full lineup of names to appear on the ballots was finalized Friday at the close of the nomination period.

In total, there are five people running for the mayoralty and 19 candidates running for the six councillor positions.

Mayor Dan Ashton declared last week his intentions to seek re-election, but his second term is being challenged by four others. Julius Bloomfield, a local realtor and former Green party candidate, is considered a strong challenger to the incumbent. Former councillor Katie Robinson is also seeking a return to municipal politics with her mayoralty bid. Two other candidates will appear on the ballot for mayor: Jukka Laurio and Vic Powell.

Although he has long announced his intentions to challenge Ashton, local council watcher and accused sex offender Benny Wolfe did not file nomination papers by Friday’s deadline.

The full list of incumbents have filed papers for re-election: Andrew Jakubeit, Garry Litke, Mike Pearce, Judy Sentes and John Vassilaki.

Although there are no guarantees they will return to the council table, Penticton council will definitely have at least one new face among its political representatives. One seat is currently vacant following the departure of former councillor Dan Albas, who won the federal Okanagan-Coquihalla seat for the Conservatives.

Challengers for the position total 14: Burga Black, Jeannie Cavallo, Poonam Chahal, Frank Conci, Jason Cox, David Greenwood, Wesley Hopkin, Lynn Kelsey, Randy Kirkoski, Helena Konanz, David Korinetz, Gary Leaman, Kevin Noonan and Terry Yeatman.

The contenders range in age and experience, some featuring higher profiles like Cox, who is wrapping up his term as president of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.

The average age of those on council might also take a dip, if two candidates have their way. Hopkin is a 22-year-old graduate of Harvard running his campaign to represent the youth interest in decision making. Poonam Chahal, a Miss Penticton contender from 2010, has also filed nomination papers.

Changes to council ballots can be made up to Oct. 21, the deadline for candidates to withdraw their application should they so choose. Advance polling begins on Nov. 9, with general voting day set for Saturday, Nov. 19.