Andrea Reimer is out, now George Affleck is too.
So who will be the next member of council to say thanks for the memories and not bother to seek another term?
Let’s start with who’s in.
Mayor Gregor Robertson has repeatedly said he will seek a fourth term as mayor. That’s what people around him tell me, too. Of course, one year is a long time and stuff can happen. But, for now, he’s in. And by in, I assume that means foregoing a nomination race.
Vision Vancouver hasn’t held a nomination race for mayor since 2008 when Robertson beat current councillor Raymond Louie and former park board commissioner Al De Genova to become the party’s candidate.
Yes, you read that right — De Genova, who is father to anti-Vision campaigner NPA Coun. Melissa De Genova. Al had a chance to become the leader of Vision but finished a distant third. Now wouldn’t that have been weird and interesting had he won.
Anyway, that’s history.
Here’s a bit more…
Louie has been on council since he was first elected in 2002 as a member of COPE. Led by mayoral candidate Larry Campbell, COPE won a landslide that year and for a short time looked like they might repeat in 2005.
But only a few years after being elected, the COPE administration imploded. Campbell, Louie and fellow COPErs Tim Stevenson and Jim Green had enough of what Campbell described as “wild-eyed revolutionaries” and formed their own political gang.
It began as The Friends of Larry Campbell and morphed into Vision Vancouver by the time the 2005 civic election rolled around. Campbell decided not to run again and turned over the party’s leadership to Green, who lost to Sam Sullivan and the NPA.
During that campaign, I remember Campbell and Green touting Louie as a future mayor of Vancouver. Then along came Robertson in 2008. Pundits and some insiders have pointed to Louie and Reimer as logical successors to Robertson.
But with Reimer not seeking re-election, that leaves Louie. In an email last week, he told me that yes he will run next year to retain his seat on council. Vision Coun. Heather Deal confirmed the same.
“I’m surprised at how early both Andrea and George have declared their intentions,” he said in an email. “A year out? Why? Not sure what purpose it serves. I’m not going to put my mind to it for a while yet. There’s a number of issues I want to see firmly in place.”
Vision Coun. Kerry Jang?
“I haven't thought about it,” he said in an email. “Too busy with modular housing, OD crisis (just got a paper in Lancet! Invited commentary out in January) and cannabis rules for province as co-chair of JCCP. Like that line from Casablanca, ‘Will I see you tonight?’ Bogart answered, ‘I don't plan that far ahead.’ Not even sure what to have for dinner. I better take something out of the freezer. I will have a better idea at the end of the year.”
As for the NPA, rookie councillor Hector Bremner said he will likely run in 2018. De Genova told me over the phone last week she’s in, but I have yet to hear from Elizabeth Ball. Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr said she’s “still keen” and will run in 2018.
Regardless of who runs, there will be some seats to fill. Jean Swanson, who ran as an independent and placed second in the Oct. 14 byelection, said she is considering a run. So is Judy Graves of OneCity, who finished fourth in the race.
Vision’s Diego Cardona, who placed fifth, is also a likely candidate for 2018.
Keep in mind though, that some or all of these people will have to compete in nomination races.
Interestingly, the 2018 campaign will be the first where no union or corporate donations will be allowed. In theory, the new legislation should give candidates belonging to small-sized parties a better chance at the polls.
As to who will battle Robertson for mayor, the NPA has yet to find a winner in three election cycles.
More on that challenge between now and October 2018.