The race to be the next mayor of Mississauga is now officially underway

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Published March 6, 2024 at 12:20 pm

Nominations for Mississauga mayoral byelection accepted starting March 6.

So far, six people — four of them Mississauga city councillors — have announced their intention to run in the city’s mayoral byelection this spring.

That number could grow later today as the official nomination period opens this afternoon at 3 p.m. following the passing of a byelection bylaw earlier on Wednesday by city council.

Nominations will close on April 26, at 2 p.m., and the mayoral byelection campaign to find Bonnie Crombie’s successor will then follow until election night on June 10.

Stephen Dasko (Ward 1), Alvin Tedjo (Ward 2), Carolyn Parrish (Ward 5) and Dipika Damerla (Ward 7) are the four city councillors who’ve already announced their plans to run for the vacant mayor’s seat.

Former mayoral candidates George Tavares and David Shaw have also reportedly said they’ll enter the race for the top political post in Canada’s seventh-largest city.

The winner will become the seventh mayor of Mississauga, following Robert Speck (1968-72), Chic Murray (1972-73), Martin Dobkin (1973-76), Ron Searle (1976-78), Hazel McCallion (1978-2014) and Crombie (2014-24).

Parrish is resigning her seat on council in order to run for mayor, the only councillor so far to do so. Her last day is March 15 and her resignation will likely be followed by a byelection to fill the Ward 5 vacancy.

With no meetings scheduled during March break next week, an emotional Parrish said goodbye to her council colleagues earlier today at city council.

A number of councillors took the opportunity to thank the longtime Ward 5 councillor for her service to the community.

Crombie left her post as Mississauga mayor on Jan. 12 to grab the reins of the Ontario Liberal Party. She had earlier taken a leave from the city back in October and councillors since then have been taking turns serving as acting mayor.

In order to qualify as a candidate to succeed her, according to the city, mayoral byelection hopefuls must be:

  • a Canadian citizen
  • at least 18 years old
  • a resident of Mississauga or owner or tenant of property in Mississauga or the spouse of an owner or tenant of property in the city

In order to run, candidates also must not be prohibited from doing so under the Municipal Elections Act or other law.

Each candidate must also pay a $200 nomination fee to the city.

For those interested in running, the city will host a free candidate information session on March 26 from 6 to 10 p.m. at city hall. Participants can also participate virtually.

Speaking in early December just after winning the Liberal leadership, Crombie said she expects the race to succeed her to be “an open field.”

She added she doesn’t plan on endorsing any one candidate.

There had been speculation Mississauga Ward 8 Coun. Matt Mahoney might enter the race, but he put an end to the idea with the release of a statement last week.

However, the councillor didn’t rule out a future run for the position.

“After careful consideration with my family, friends and hundreds of residents across Mississauga, I have made the tough decision not to run for the job of mayor of Mississauga in the upcoming byelection,” Mahoney, whose mother, Katie Mahoney, was a longtime member of Mississauga council, said in his statement. “While I may not be pursuing the mayor position at this time, I am not ruling out a run at a future date.”

Mahoney’s father, Steve Mahoney, is a veteran of provincial and federal politics and ran unsuccessfully for Mississauga mayor in 2014, finishing second to Crombie.

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