I know it is still 15 months till the 2014 municipal elections but we have more activity in preparation for this coming election cycle than I have ever seen this far in advance of the municipal elections. People are thinking further ahead about it which is good because a strong campaign from a non-incumbent takes huge amounts of work and planning. It is not too soon to start planning for your election campaign if you want to win in November 2014.
Some of this is second hand and rumours, some of I have been told directly. In part I know some of this because many people are coming to me asking about what it takes to win municipal elections. I am posting this today because I had confirmations of the move to create major slate in the City of Victoria.
Amalgamation Yes! is pushing to have an advisory referendum on the ballot through out the region. Colwood has said they will do it. In preparation for the 2014 municipal elections Amalgamation Yes! is organizing on the ground in all 13 municipalities. For the record, I am on the board.
There are three to four possible slates considering running candidates for the 2014 election. At least one is actively seeking candidates and I hear plans on running eight people.
I know of four people that are already organizing for a possible run for a council seat. I hear rumours of others wanting to run including people hearing I am running.
I am considering it myself but I would call myself agnostic on the issue at the moment, I have no desire to run unless I think I have a decent chance of winning. If we have 30 to 40 people run for council it will be almost impossible to win a seat on council as a non-incumbent.
Several people have told me that two of the sitting councilors are considering retiring. I have not asked them directly but the rumour is out there.
I know of three serious possible challengers for the mayor's seat. I know of a less than serious one as well. Rumours do include sitting councilors on this list of challengers to the mayor.
I have already been approached by three people in Saanich asking for advice on what it takes to get elected to council. I put them in the exploring option category.
Saanich is the hardest municipality to run in because it has the most people and it has no definable core to meet the voters. The incumbents have an almost insurmountable advantage in getting re-elected.
I have heard a rumour that a sitting MLA is being approached to step down to challenge Frank Leonard for the mayor's seat. I suspect it is more wishful thinking on the part of some people than a reality.
I also believe one of the sitting councilors is considering running for mayor.
There is a group interested in running a slate to bring in a new council that have talked with me about campaign strategy.
Two people not currently on council have take me for coffee and asked about what it takes to run.
I have been asked by some people what it takes to have a slate name on the ballot.
I heard a rumour that a couple of people want to challenge the status quo but I have not heard details.
I know someone there how is interested in running but they are not doing much about it yet.
I have not heard from people in the other municipalities or heard second hand about people wanting to run, but given it is still 15 months till the elections I would not expect to hear much in any case.