Nanaimo city council veteran Bill Holdom is coming out of political retirement this year to enter the race for mayor.
Holdom announced his bid for the mayoral position this week after a one-term hiatus from civic politics, growing the field of candidates to eight so far.
Incumbent Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan and former mayor Gary Korpan are the latest contenders for the seat, along with Nanaimo resident Mark Robinson.
Businessmen Roger McKinnon and Al Thompson, Coun. Bill McKay and Brunie Brunie are also running.
Jim Routledge plans to make an official announcement by the end of this week.
Holdom, who made an exit from politics in 2011, told the News Bulletin he missed it and would like to see the best work of the past and current councils continue. With eight terms on council under his belt, he believes he’s a candidate who can link the past, present and future.
“I really like Nanaimo. I think it’s a great community,” he said. “I’m not here to try to tear it down or to remake it or change it in any drastic way. I’m here to continue to improve it, to continue Nanaimo on its course … and to try to smooth out the bumps along the way.”
Reviewing increased downtown parking rates would be a top task for Holdom, if elected. He also supports balancing what the community wants with what it can afford and teamwork with council and residents.
Robinson is no stranger to politics, having been involved in a recall campaign to remove an elected MLA from office and a run for council twice.
A single father, Robinson says now is the time for him to run for the mayor’s seat. He’s interested in being at the council table during the potential development of two new hotels, including SSS Manhao, pointing out he believes there’s opportunity for the community to reap benefits while the Chinese economy is doing well.
Robinson is also a proponent of direct democracy and would like to see members of the public put forward motions at town hall meetings.
Nominations for the civic election close Friday (Oct. 10). As of press time Wednesday four candidates were on the roster for mayor and 23 for council.
Incumbents city councillors Fred Pattje, Ted Greves, Diane Brennan and Bill Bestwick are seeking re-election.
Among those new to the council race are Paul Gogo, keyboardist for the Canadian rock band Trooper; the Queen’s owner Jerry Hong; and Kevin Cantelon, a lawyer and eldest son of retired MLA Ron Cantelon. Other candidates include: Brian Anderson, Jack Arnold, Fred Brooks, Leon Cake, Stephen Cochrane, Gord Fuller, Jim Goldsack, Scott Henderson, Mike Horn, Karen Hovestad, Geraldine Manson, Wendy Pratt, Jim Taylor, Ian Thorpe, Ian Thompson and Bill Yoachim.