Alan Lowe has let people know that he will not be running for office again in the next election. He has been mayor now since 1999 and generally been a decent and non controversial mayor. He has had some vision for the city and has not been bogged down by ego or incompetence. Where will he go from here? I am not certain and I am not sure it really matters. He would likely make a good MLA or MP, but that is after the next municipal elections.
The mayor of the city of Victoria is the most important political position in this region. Even though Saanich has a greater population, it is the mayor of Victoria that speaks for the region. No MLA or MP holds as much weight as representative of the region as Victoria's mayor.
The question now becomes who will run for the job? I thought it was an error on Rob Flemming's part that he did not run for mayor of Victoria in 2005. Sitting on the opposition benches was a less than wise move for him. He could have won in 2005, Alan Lowe was challenged by Ben Isitt and did not do nearly as well as he should have. A few terms in the mayors chair and Rob Flemming could have developed the experience and skills to be a strong MLA or MP, he would have gone into any race as a star. Instead of this he is one more forgettable opposition MLA.
Who might run in 2008 for the mayor's seat? I think Dean Fortin is the obvious choice from the left side of the spectrum - one hopes the left is done with the insurgency campaign of Ben Isitt. There are no other obvisous names on the left that I can think of that might run.
Some other people I think would be interesting ones to see run.
Bruce Hallsor - I have seen him work with people from all political stripes and he would make a great mayor. Bruce is honest, diplomatic and patient.
Jim Legh - Yes, another lawyer. Jim has a lot of passion and vision for Victoria.
Chris Coleman - He has been on council for some years now and I like his approach to community engagement. He can work with people from all political stripes and has some real vision for the city.
Robin Adair - I see him coming into the race as the voice for the business community if he does. I am not sure he has all the skills needed to be a mayor on a council that is likely to be split left and right with some people on the council with many years experience on it.
Art Aylesworth - Former CEO of Carmanah Technologies. I can see him being courted as a star, but I do not know enough about him to know if he has the experience to skills needed to be mayor.
Russ Courtnall - He has been courted by the right in Victoria several times to consider making a run for office. Ottawa was ruled out by him because of all the travel. Why not mayor?
More musing on who might run and who might make a good mayor in the next months.