Barry Hobbis. I know of two other people considering running, but have not made up their mind.
This is a very good chance for people to run and have the issues that are germane to the City of Victoria raised. Waiting till sometime after labour day is way to late to get into the race. People thinking about running need to be seeing how much money they can raise and who will support their campaign.
I know who I want to see run and I am having coffee next Thursday with someone considering running, but beyond that it has been quiet out there. I can get no sense who might run from the NDP camp or from the Green world. Both groups should be considering fielding someone, but if left too late they will have to run much harder than needed. If the VCE in 2002 and 2005 was any example of the energy of the NDP crowd, they need to be out there early and first to have any realistic chance of being in the race.
At this point Barry has been doing all the right things for the election and clearly would have to be seen as the front runner at this time. I am saying this not only because the is the only person in the race, but because he has clearly put a team together to back his candidacy. If he has a full set of volunteers in place by labour day and if he has shaken hands all summer, he will be several thousands of votes up on other people.
In most civic by-elections voter turn out is pathetically low, a lot lower than during the normal election. This time it is not likely to be that low as there will be a referendum on the bridge. Whatever the question is, there will be a much larger turn out at the polls. A higher voter turn out means that someone with a well known name could win the by-election without doing anything. I could see someone like Russ Courtnall winning in the fall on his name alone because of the higher turn out - in right of centre circles his name has been batted around as potential candidate for political office.