Vanessa Hamilton, a familiar face in municipal elections in recent years, hopes a third run is the charm.
Hamilton announced her intention on Saturday to seek the vote in the Riverview ward in the city’s election in October, after losing a Meadows ward byelection last year and a school board trustee run in 2010’s vote.
"Those two campaigns really, I feel, are going to prepare me for this time around," she said in an interview with the Sun on Saturday.
"It’s hard work, and I’ve learned that the last two elections."
Hamilton’s curriculum vitae includes her work with the City of Brandon Poverty Committee and the CancerCare Manitoba board. She is a founding director and past president of the Brandon and District Worker Advocacy Centre Inc. and recently, she was involved in a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the negative impact of health-care cuts by the federal government on provinces and municipalities.
She said her municipal run wasn’t the reason she stepped down in March as the president of the Brandon-Souris NDP federal riding association. At the time, she also relinquished her party membership.
"It was after I stepped down that I started thinking about council," she said.
Hamilton’s announcement breaks a nearly two-month silence from potential candidates after furniture store owner Rick Chrest announced his mayoral run and local businessman Barry Cullen announced his run in the Victoria ward, both in January.
"Everyone wants to keep Brandon affordable and people have bills to pay and they want to see their taxes low and the taxpayers’ money well-spent," Hamilton said.
There are only 10 days left before campaigning can begin in earnest.
Ahead of the Oct. 22 election day, the official campaign period begins on May 1 for mayoral hopefuls and June 30 for potential councillors.
"At the municipal level, there’s a lot of leverage, a voice, because city councillors, they’re right there on the ground level with the residents," Hamilton said.
"I am fully focused on being a city councillor. I know maybe other people have other reasons to run, such as chasing dreams to seek higher office, but I’m really here for the residents and being a voice for them."
Current Riverview Coun. Len Isleifson, who last year took a stab at the Conservative nomination in the Brandon-Souris federal riding ahead of November’s byelection, didn’t say what his intentions are when contacted by the Sun over the weekend. However, in an interview after he bowed out of the Tory nomination race last year, he said, "I’m definitely running in the next municipal election."
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