Former city councillor Rick Chrest became the first to officially toss his hat in the ring as he submitted paperwork Thursday morning to kick off his campaign for mayor — but the incumbent was just a few hours behind him.
Chrest, who announced earlier this year that he intended to run, will challenge mayor Shari Decter Hirst, who filed her own papers early Thursday afternoon.
"I am so excited, I am vibrating," Decter Hirst said after filing her papers. "I can think of a million things now that we want to get going and doing, things that we want to talk to the residents of Brandon about, now that we can officially get started."
"It will come as no surprise that I'm absolutely committed to running on my record, and that is a record of growth and prosperity and commitment to the community... so people in Brandon won't find any surprises there."
Chrest, a furniture dealer who has previously served as city councillor and as deputy mayor, announced his intention to run in January.
"I'm really excited, spent the last three months, essentially since announcing, talking to lots of people and frankly, more listening than talking," Chrest said after he filed his registration papers. "I’ve been certainly wanting to find out what people want in a mayor and council, what they want from their city."
Chrest says the common themes that have come up when talking to voters include strong leadership, sound financial management, economic development and re-focusing on core services.
Today, May 1, is the first day that candidates for mayor can file paperwork. Once they have officially filed papers, they can conduct campaigns, including opening offices, fundraising and spending money.
Candidates for city council can't officially file papers until June 30. Candidate registration ends Sept. 16, and candidates have until the day after that to withdraw from the race.
The municipal election will be held on Oct. 22.