Here’s the truth. Talk of a boring municipal election has been greatly exaggerated.
Yes, your money is good on Mayor Jim Watson soaring to victory on Oct. 22. And sadly, when there isn’t a strong mayoral race, voting tends to drop off. But there are several fascinating ward races taking place and their outcomes can change the face of council.
One of those deserving attention is Innes ward, where four strong challengers are vying to represent the area left without an incumbent by the exit of Jody Mitic. The four vying for their community’s vote are Laura Dudas, Donna Leith-Gudbranson, Tammy Lynch and François Trépanier. All four have pretty good resumes.
Lynch worked in Mitic’s office; Trepanier has been a longtime volunteer and like Dudas, ran in the last election; Leith-Gudbranson has been a long-time volunteer and resident, and worked for both former Innes Coun. Rainer Bloess and Beacon Hill-Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney; Laura Dudas has also volunteered for many years in her community, ran last election and has first-hand knowledge of how the city works as a city employee (she’s on a leave of absence).
Dare I say, after watching the Rogers debate, save for Leith-Gudbranson, the quartet needs some schooling in debates.
Leith-Gudbranson has a calm about her, while Dudas appeared to be almost rushed, and too loud.
But in the end, two candidates have emerged as the top contenders: Dudas and Leith-Gudbranson.
Ottawa, being the small big city it is, I have a relationship of sorts with both of them.
Dudas is a former colleague of mine from the Ottawa Sun. She was volunteering even back then, spending part of her time helping out the paper’s union. I admired her then, still do.
Leith-Gudbranson, for much of her time working for Bloess, was going through the horrendous ordeal of her youngest son Dennis suffering from cancer. With his future uncertain, the two of us shared many tears, bonding as mothers. Her experience with Dennis led her to volunteerism with CHEO, the hospital which helped save her son’s life.
Both women are strong candidates, both know the issues, know the ward, care about the ward and volunteer in the ward.
It’s concerning that Dudas accepted the endorsement of River Coun. Riley Brockington, a train wreck of a candidate. What was she thinking?
She put that endorsement on some of her campaign material. Not smart.
Leith-Gudbranson, during the Rogers debate, was confident and calm. She knows the issues, she’s part of the community and cares about it. She’s also the only female running in Innes who is fluently bilingual. In this ward, that counts for a lot.
Everything considered, Leith-Gudbranson gets a strong nod for your vote.