The race is on for Nanaimo’s mayoral seat

NANAIMO - Brunie Brunie and Bill Bestwick are vying for the mayor's chair in this year's civic election.

The race is on for Nanaimo’s mayoral seat.

Nanaimo city Coun. Bill Bestwick announced Friday he will run for mayor, making him the second challenger in the upcoming election Nov. 15. Brunie Brunie has also thrown her hat into the race.

“I think the time is now. I spent nine years, three terms, apprenticing for the possibility that one day this decision would have to be made,” Bestwick said in an interview with the News Bulletin. “I am all in. I am committed to hopefully having the opportunity and challenge to lead our city.”

Bestwick, former general manager and coach for the Nanaimo Clippers and Victoria Grizzlies, will enter the civic election as a three-time top vote getter. This is his first time vying for the position of mayor and while he has yet to release his platform, he says his first job would be to restore and stabilize confidence in city hall.

“I am going to do what I’ve always done,” Bestwick said of the upcoming election. “I’m going to be passionate, I’m going to be committed, I’m going to work harder than anyone else.

“I hope that we can all work together, we need to be able to do that with a vision and not every coach’s, manager’s, visions are the same as their players but somebody has to have the vision to take us to the next stage and I hope that people believe in my vision.”

Brunie, the only other candidate to publicly state intentions to run for mayor, has had her name on the ballot in several provincial and municipal elections.

She hasn’t won a seat on council yet, but she says if elected, she’ll look at a tree-cutting moratorium on developments and make Nanaimo a “skateboarding capital,” which is fun and green. “No one is going to have the courage to change things and raise their voice like I would,” she said. “The news calls me the underdog politician. People can change that and vote the underdog politician top dog.”

Candidate nomination packages are available at city hall Aug. 22 and the nomination period begins at the end of September.