Here's Who is Running in Mississauga's Municipal Election (Part 2)
It's time for a follow up to our initial story about the beginning of the municipal election season in Mississauga and across Ontario.
The municipal election campaigning period began on May 1, which is when candidates were able to start registering to run in the October election. Once someone puts down their filing fee and gets 25 signatures endorsing their candidacy, they can start raising money and campaigning as a candidate.
Map of Mississauga's 11 current wards. Photo courtesy of City of Mississauga
For this year’s municipal election cycle, there are three periods to take note of when it come to finding out who is running:
May 1, where there is much fanfare over being “the first out of the gate”.
After Canada Day long weekend, when enough dust has settled from the June provincial election and former MPPs and candidates looking for a new lease on their political careers decide whether it's worth it to run for local office.
The last day to register on July 27 at 2 p.m., where there is the possibility of a last minute scramble of candidates signing up.
Here's a breakdown of who is so far running for Mississauga mayor and the 11 Mississauga wards for city council.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie is seeking a second term after sweeping into office in 2014 with 63 per cent of the vote, replacing Hazel McCallion and becoming the first new mayor in Mississauga in 36 years. Under her tenure, Mississauga got full provincial funding for the Hurontario LRT, launched an ambitious plan for affordable housing, and implemented a stormwater management levy.
So far, Crombie is facing only two challenges from two fringe candidates who also ran in 2014.
Coun. Dave Cook was appointed by council to serve as a placeholder after the untimely passing of Jim Tovey earlier this year, so there will be a new councillor for this ward, which includes Lakeview, Port Credit and surrounding communities. So far, four candidates have officially registered to run: Stephen Dasko, Larry Mancini, Macro Pedri, and Miles Roque.
A rather interesting side story occurred when Kristian Velkoski, who had previously sought the Ward 1 appointment, was photographed with volunteers marching in the Port Credit Canada Day parade with a campaign banner indicating he was running. The problem was, he was doing this before actually registering as a candidate.
Under Ontario's municipal elections act, you can only start campaigning as a candidate once you've registered in the municipality you're seeking office in, so Velkoski may have violated elections laws. He subsequently deleted his Twitter account, and as of this writing did not register as a candidate.
Coun. Karen Ras, first elected in 2014, is the only one running at the moment. Four years ago Ras squeaked by two strong challengers with just 28 per cent of the vote, but she has demonstrated a solid level of work during her first term and, at this time, it's hard to argue that she would not be winning comfortably in her reelection bid.
Coun. Chris Fonseca is currently being challenged by one other candidate: Khawar Hussain. Fonseca was first elected in 2010 with 70 per cent and her vote and was easily reelected in 2014 with almost 80 per cent of the vote.
A hefty amount of candidates running in one ward usually indicates an incumbent's pending retirement, but not in the case of Coun. John Kovac. Kovac is facing three challengers at the moment: Yoliana Azer, Nawres Fouad, and Hugo Reinoso.
Kovac squeaked into office in a 2015 by-election with 17 per cent of the vote against 26 other candidates, so he is seeking election to a full term on council this year.
Coun. Carolyn Parrish is running for her third term on council. She was Ward 6's councillor from 2006 to 2010, when she lost reelection, then was re-elected to council again in Ward 5 in 2014.
In that election for Ward 5, Parrish defeated nine other candidates, but as of this writing only two candidates have registered to run in Ward 5 as well: Ahmad Khan and Ram Pawar.
Coun. Ron Starr is retiring from Mississauga council to run for Peel regional chair, and that decision has triggered a torrent of candidates to seek election to his council seat.
Eight candidates vying to replace Starr: Tahir Ali, Moezzam Ali, Al De Ascentiis, Gary Gu, Muhammad Haroon, Joe Horneck, Syed Mohammad Jaffery, and Fazli Manan. Among this group, only Horneck has been a candidate before; he placed third in the 2015 Ward 4 by-election.
30 year incumbent Coun. Nando Iannicca is not running again, and as of now there are three candidates running to replace him: Andrew Gassmann, the president of the Cooksville-Munden Park residents association, Dawid Burzynski, a former Queen's Park staffer who worked for former Mississauga MPP Harinder Takhar, and Samir Jisri.
Coun. Matt Mahoney is so far running unopposed for reelection.
Coun. Pat Saito, who has been in office since 1991, is also so far running unopposed in her reelection bid.
A former school trustee who was elected to council in 2006, Coun. Sue McFadden is currently being challenged by one other candidate: Mazin Al-Ezzi.
Another former school trustee who was elected to council in 2000, Coun. George Carlson is currently being challenged by one other candidate: local businessman Imran Hasan, who ran against Carlson in 2014.
Here are the candidates running for Peel District School Board trustee in Mississauga. With the exception of Ward 5, all other Mississauga trustees represent two city wards each:
Wards 1 and 7
The biggest change on the PDSB is that incumbent trustee Janet McDougald, who has been a trustee since 1988 and chair of the board since 1997, is stepping down and retiring after 30 years in office. So far only two people have registered to replace her: Catherine Soplet and Suresh Subramaniam.
Wards 2 and 8
Incumbent trustee Brad MacDonald is running for another term, and his only declared challenger at this time is Charles Chen.
Wards 3 and 4
Incumbent trustee Sue Lawton has registered to run for reelection, and for now she is challenged by two other candidates: Norma Fay Nicholson and Lovely Shankar.
After 21 years on the PDSB, trustee Rick Williams recently announced he was retiring. So far, four candidates are contesting to replace him: Susan Benjamin, Ryan Gurcharn, Arwinder Kalsi, and Jal Panthaky.
Wards 6 and 11
Former teacher at Streetsville Secondary school Robert Crocker, who was elected to his first term as trustee in 2014, is running for reelection. Two other candidates, Hasan Imam and George Varghese, are also running.
Wards 9 and 10
Incumbent trustee Nokha Dakroub, who was first elected in 2014 and has been quite a vocal trustee, such as challenging the way how meetings have been conducted at the board, is running again.
Two other candidates have registered as of now: Lili Schermel, a rehab officer with the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and John Bebawy.
Current Catholic trustees Mario Pascucci, Sharon Hobin, Luz Del Rosario, Bruno Iannicca and Thomas Thomas have all registered to run for reelection.
You can keep track of who is running by checking this real time candidate list for those running for Mississauga City Council.
There may be more candidates who have registered as of this writing, so a second option is to follow my tweet thread providing frequent updates about registered candidates right up to the deadline to sign up on July 27 at 2 pm.
Municipal elections in Mississauga and across Ontario take place on October 22.
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