A 30-year-old father of four has set his sights on becoming Brandon’s next mayor.
Gary Neil Wilson filed his registration papers last week at city hall for the October municipal election. He joins incumbent Mayor Shari Decter Hirst and local businessman Rick Chrest in the mayoral race.
Wilson is originally from Peguis First Nation, but says he has called Brandon his home since he was about 12 years old.
His vision for the Wheat City is for it to be "very prosperous."
Wilson prides himself on his life experience, which includes time as a teacher assistant for an aboriginal head-start program in Alberta, work in the labour field and a strong interest in business.
"If you can list it, I’ve probably done it," he said. "I know what it’s like to earn an honest dollar … I’ve had professional careers to labour positions, and I’ve made some good money in the past."
Wilson is currently unemployed. He has a common-law wife and four children ranging in age from three to 13.
He attended Brandon University, where he graduated with a bachelor of general studies in 2011.
As a teenager, Wilson competed in an aboriginal youth business plan competition put on by E-Spirit. He was highly ranked for his aboriginal arts and crafts retail business idea.
"I had loans officers approach me with their business cards and told me that if I was ever serious about it to give me a call," he said.
One issue that Wilson wants to tackle is the state of Brandon’s streets, and the amount of garbage strewn about.
"I’ve personally hand-picked some garbage myself," he said. "I don’t really like the way the skatepark looks, with all the garbage."
Wilson said it is important to instil social responsibility within Brandon’s youth.
"Just to have a little bit more respect for their parents, regardless of how old they get, because they need to understand where they come from."
Wilson said he has already started his door-to-door campaign, in an effort to meet voters.
When asked what he wants Brandonites to know about him, Wilson said, "I do what I gotta do to get it done, and that’s about it."
Brandon voters head to the polls on Oct. 22.
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