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Nomination packages available for upcoming civic election

Nanaimo is four weeks away from the official start to the civic election race and candidates are already lining up at the starting block.

People interested in running for mayor and council are now able to pick up nomination packages from city hall, but can’t formally declare as candidates until 9 a.m. on Sept. 30.

That’s not stopping some from announcing intentions to run.

Incumbent Ted Greves now has a Facebook page dedicated to his bid for re-election and Bill Bestwick stated plans to reclaim a seat on council earlier this month after withdrawing from the mayoral race.

Others contenders for a four-year council term include Nanaimo Ratepayers Association president Jim Taylor, the Buzz Coffee House owner Scott Henderson, and Karen Hovestad, president of the Departure Bay Neighbourhood Association. Tali Campbell, organizer of Nanaimo’s longest street hockey game, and former RCMP member and Hospital Area Neighbourhood Association president Jim Goldsack also plan to vie for seats on council.

Brunie Brunie has tossed her hat in the mayoral ring.

Nanaimo chief election officer Chris Jackson said the names of people who formally declare will be put online as soon as possible after they hand in nomination packages between Sept. 30 and Oct 10. Eighteen packages were picked up from city hall in the five days after they became available.

This year the electorate will be able to cast ballots at 10 polling stations across Nanaimo. Protection Island will no longer have a physical polling station on Nov. 15, according to Jackson, who said there will be greater opportunity for residents to vote in advance on Nov. 5 and 12 or mail-in ballots.

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