Brandon’s mayor has made the long list of candidates in the World Mayor 2014 project.
Shari Decter Hirst is nominated, along with 18 mayors from North America and 102 from around the world, for the prestigious award.
"It’s a real honour to be nominated and represent the people of Brandon," Decter Hirst said. "It came as a total surprise and I’m overwhelmed by many of the mayors who are on the list."
Other Canadian mayors on the list include Naheed Nenshi of Calgary, Colette Roy-Laroche of Lac-Mégantic, Que., and Toronto’s top boss, Rob Ford.
Decter Hirst said she doesn’t know who nominated her for the award, but is proud to be included in such a diverse group.
"To know that those efforts have been recognized and appreciated by the residents of Brandon is a very humbling experience," Decter Hirst said.
Since the award’s inception in 2004, only once has a Canadian mayor placed in the top three. Hazel McCallion of Mississauga, Ont., finished second in 2005.
The award is given to a mayor who has made outstanding contributions to their community, and has developed a vision for urban living and working that is relevant to cities around the globe.
Decter Hirst is running for re-election, but faces an experienced challenger in former city councillor and business owner Rick Chrest.
Proponents will point to the World Mayor 2014 nomination as an indicator of Decter Hirst’s success in the Wheat City, while critics believe it is nothing more than a ploy to boost her profile in the campaign leading up to the Oct. 22 election.
"Folks can read whatever they want into it," Decter Hirst said. "We’re working hard to ensure as the city gets bigger and more prosperous that we don’t lose that small-town feel where neighbours care about each other."
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