Brandon’s vacant South Centre ward now has two candidates vying for the seat.
Lonnie Patterson announced Thursday she will be running for city council in the October election.
"I thought that this was the perfect time to take on that different role, take on that role as elected official and represent the community," Patterson said. "Working with my neighbours to make Brandon an even better city, and continue on the growth and diversity that we have today."
Patterson was born and raised in Wawanesa, and moved to Brandon in 1999 to attend university. For the better part of the past 12 years, she has been working for elected officials at the provincial level. Most recently her position was policy and issue manager with the Province of Manitoba.
She will no longer be with the province as of next week, and plans to devote her time to her candidacy.
"In reality, my plan for the next four months, my No. 1 job is going to be running for council — knocking on doors, finding out what’s important to the people in South Centre and getting ready to try to get the job that I really do want, which is to represent South Centre at the council table."
This will be the second time Patterson will take a run at public office. She was an NDP candidate in the 2003 provincial election for Turtle Mountain. She lost to Merv Tweed who was the riding’s MLA from 1995 to 2004.
She also has experience on various campaign teams, most recently co-managing the campaign team for Brandon-Souris NDP candidate Cory Szczepanski in last fall’s federal byelection.
If elected, Patterson says advocating for the Keystone Centre, the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba and affordable housing will be some of her main priorities.
"The Keystone Centre and the Provincial Exhibition, it is in the corner of this ward, it is a huge part of our community," she said. "It fills up our city so many times throughout the year and I think that anybody that wants to represent this ward should be a strong advocate for both of those organizations at the council table."
The South Centre ward seat is currently vacant, following longtime councillor Garth Rice’s resignation. Kim Longstreet, interim executive director of Family Visions, announced in April that she will run for the ward’s councillor.
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