A self-proclaimed "political junkie" has thrown his hat into the ring to become Brandon’s next mayor.
Mark Kovatch, 54, filed his papers at city hall on Thursday.
"I’ve been planning on going into public service for a long time, but I wanted to wait till I finished raising my kids and making sure they were set for themselves," he said.
Kovatch is a married father of five. His youngest son is about to enter Brandon University, so he said now is the time to take the leap into politics.
"I’m going to have more time to dedicate to public service," he said.
Kovatch grew up in Calgary, and has also lived in B.C. He and his family moved to Brandon in 2007 when they purchased Curran Park. Kovatch is in his eighth season of running Turtle Crossing campground.
Due to the flood this summer, Kovatch is busy cleaning up the park, with a goal of reopening Aug. 28. While he has filed his paperwork at city hall, Kovatch said he will not start his campaign in earnest until the end of next week.
"I have a couple of big fundraisers ... so I have to make sure I get that out of the way first before I can dedicate my time full-time to running for mayor."
He plans to release his platform in early September.
Kovatch said he is not a member of any political party, and calls himself a centrist.
"I think one of the biggest problems we have today is that we’ve got the politics of separation," he said. "We’ve got people being drawn to the left, and to the right and as a result nothing gets done."
When asked what message he would like to send to voters at this early stage of his campaign, Kovatch said he wants people to know he "believes deeply in social and economic responsibility. If you ignore one over the other, one of them is going to suffer."
Kovatch joins incumbent Mayor Shari Decter Hirst and Rick Chrest in the mayoral race.