Some of Winnipeg's long-shot mayoral candidates now have no shot at all.
After a tense scramble Tuesday that saw several candidates troll the downtown for last-minute nomination signatures, four were disqualified -- Avery Petrowski, Nancy Thomas, Ed Ackerman and Ron Dyck.
Ackerman, a filmmaker, challenged his disqualification well into the evening, retiring into the bowels of the clerk's office with chief returning officer Marc Lemoine to go over each name on his forms. Ackerman was short at least 80 signatures.
Mayoral candidates needed at least 250 signatures from registered voters in order to get on the ballot, and the deadline to submit nomination papers was 4:30 p.m.
Council candidates need only 25 signatures and every one of the 51 candidates made the cut.
Petrowski, a young West Broadway resident, was short about 70 signatures, in part because he canvassed students who likely aren't on the voters' list. He was philosophical about the disappointment.
"My target audience was people who don't normally vote. It highlights the exact reason I decided to do this," he said. "I'm not done."
Others, including Nancy Thomas and candidate Rav Gill, arrived early in the afternoon to drop off their papers and raced out for more signatures when dozens were disqualified. Gill squeaked in but Thomas did not.
"It's not like not making it on American Idol," said Gill, who canvassed for signatures in some condo buildings on Bannatyne Avenue. "But it was a little nerve-wracking."
The last-minute disqualifications reduce the mayoral field to four candidates -- Gill, Brad Gross, Sam Katz and Judy Wasylycia-Leis.
None of council's 12 incumbents -- Katz and 11 councillors -- will run unopposed. That means there will be no acclamations in Winnipeg for two straight elections.
On Wednesday evening, city election officials will hold a lottery to determine the order candidates will appear on the Oct. 27 ballot.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 22, 2010 B2