All but one member of Saanich council have confirmed they will appear on the municipal ballot in October 2018.

UPDATE: All but one current Saanich council members confirm they will seek re-election

Coun. Dean Murdock, who won the most votes in 2014, is still deciding on seeking a fourth term

All but one member of the current council have confirmed their names will appear on the 2018 municipal election ballot. But Coun. Fred Haynes declined to say whether he is running for mayor or one of the eight spots for councillors.

“I will make that announcement at an appropriate time, and I look forward to the privilege of serving the residents of Saanich for an additional term,” said Haynes.

Only Coun. Dean Murdock, who garnered the most votes during the 2014 municipal election with 14,781 votes, is still deciding whether to seek re-election. Murdock first joined council in 2008, winning re-election in 2011 and 2014.

“I feel very fortunate that the voters have given me three terms on Saanich [council],” he said. “I am discussing running for a fourth term with my family and will make my decision as the election gets closer.”

These comments come after Couns. Susan Brice, Judy Brownoff, Karen Harper, Colin Plant, Vicki Sanders and Leif Wergeland have told the Saanich News that they plan to seek re-election on Oct. 20 when British Columbians elect new mayors, councillors and regional representatives.

These statements come against the backdrop of politicians across the region announcing their plans for the 2018 municipal election.

Victoria’s Mayor Lisa Helps announced Monday that she would seek re-election, while Saanich’s Mayor Richard Atwell confirmed his earlier stated intention to run again.

He also predicted that the council elected in October will look quite different from the current one.

“I expect there will be many candidates vying for the eight council positions,” he said. “Last general election nine incumbents ran, and six were re-elected. I predict that the public will elect at least three new council members in 2018.”

Atwell, for his part, did not say which of the current councillors he does not expect to return. Nor did he say who would replace them, or who might run against him as mayor. “Who won’t be back is up to the electorate,” he said. “Who might run against me is just hearsay at this point.”

Murdock — whose current position perhaps gives him the most neutral perspective — said a lot can change over the next month when asked about Atwell’s prediction.

“I suspect we will see a highly competitive election for [council] and the mayor’s position,” he said. “There were a few excellent candidates in last year’s byelection, who I expect will mount strong campaigns in the October election. They would be welcome additions to [council].”

They will also face nine familiar names on the ballot.

A software developer who ran as an outsider seeking to shake things up, Mayor Richard Atwell is seeking re-election after he defeated longtime mayor Frank Leonard in 2014 by 1,025 votes.

A former mayor of Oak Bay and former B.C. Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly with a long list of appointments on various governmental, educational and charitable boards, including the chairing the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, Brice first joined council in 2005. She finished third among councillor candidates in 2014 with 14,182 votes.

A local small business owner, Brownoff enters the 2014 campaign as the longest serving member of council, having first assumed office in 1994. She has held numerous appointments with regional, provincial, national and global bodies across many areas, including government, education, transportation and the arts among other areas. She finished sixth among councillor candidates in 2014 with 13,162 votes.

An advocate for financial accountability and regional amalgamation, Harper plans to seek re-election after winning a byelection in September 2017 to fill the seat left vacant since the death of former councillor Vic Derman. Harper said she is running again, because her remaining term will not allow enough time to pursue her priorities.

A local entrepreneur, educator, community activist and professional author with a PhD in biomedical science, Haynes currently holds a number of board appointments with governmental and non-governmental organization, after having served as chair of the organization representating community associations. His name will appear on the ballot for the second time after he finished fifth in the race for the eight councillor spots with 13,492 votes.

Plant will be running for his second term, after finishing second among councillor candidates with 14,778 votes. A Claremont secondary school teacher with an active social media presence, Plant is a frequent speaker at council, and has developed a strong regional voice through his work with the Capital Regional District.

Sanders will be running for her fifth term, after first winning a seat on council in 2005, the same year as Brice. A founding member of the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association, Sanders can look back on years of involvement with the organization representing local community associations, and various other local non-governmental, educational, historical, artistic and charitable organizations, including Shelbourne Valley Community Kitchen. She finished seventh among councillor candidates in 2014

A semi-retired business owner, Wergeland first joined council in 1996. He has held a long list of appointments with various organizations and won re-election in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014, when he finished eighth among councillor candidates with 12,107 votes — 30 votes ahead of Rebecca Mersereau, who lost by 102 votes to Harper in September 2017.

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