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Steeves officially begins mayoral run

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Gord Steeves is in but who else will join him?

Steeves is the first mainstream candidate to register for the mayoral campaign.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who polls portray as the favourite to win the mayor’s race on Oct. 22, is remaining coy about her intentions.

"I’m still checking off boxes and talking with a lot of people," Wasylycia-Leis said, adding she has not set a deadline for when she’ll make her decision.

Not so Scott Fielding. The city councillor for St. James said he’ll make his final consultations this weekend and likely make an announcement Monday.

Fielding, who has been issuing campaign-style policy statements on a regular basis for weeks, said he’s not worried about having too many candidates on the ballot.

"It’s a positive thing when you see a lot of people are interested in running for mayor," Fielding said. "It gives voters a lot of choice."

Thursday was the first day that individuals could register their candidacies for the mayor’s race, allowing them to conduct campaigns and raises expenses.

Candidates for councillor can register June 30.

Lawyer Brian Bowman, another individual who has said publicly he is considering running for mayor, said he’s been too busy with work this week to make the trip of the city clerk’s office.

Bowman said a week ago that he had resigned his position from several boards as a prelude for his entry into the campaign.

Former city councillor Steeves made his campaign for mayor official this morning, promising to restore public confidence with city hall.

"Over the last three years, the citizens of the city of Winnipeg don’t feel a part of their civic government, they don’t feel like they have an ownership in their civic government …. and, regrettably they don’t necessarily trust it," Steeves said moments after filing his campaign registration papers.

Steeves walked into the clerk’s office at city hall just after 10 a.m., accompanied by his wife and about 100 supporters.

"If I am elected mayor of this city, I promise to steadfastly, each and every day resolutely, represent the hopes, dreams and interests of all the citizens of this great city that we all call home."

Steeves said Winnipeggers are over-taxed but would not state if he favoured a tax freeze for next year.

Steeves was the councillor from St. Vital from 1990 to 2011. He had run unsuccessfully as a Liberal in the 1995 provincial election and he quit city hall to run provincially as a Tory in the 2011 election. He’s been practicing law for the past three years.

Steve’s campaign for mayor got off to a bad start, when he formally launched his campaign in late October – a violation of civic election rules, which prohibits campaigning before May 1.

Steeves faces a tough road towards the Oct. 22 civic election. While he is nominally the front-runner among a handful of right-of-centre candidates, two public opinion polls place him far behind former New Democrat MP and MLA Judy Wasylycia-Leis.



Updated on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 11:13 AM CDT: Updated with quotes.

12:45 PM: Updates with other possible candidate information.

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