Who is eyeing the mayor's chair in Surrey?

Who is eyeing the mayor’s chair in Surrey?

SURREY — With Mayor Dianne Watts announcing she won’t seek re-election this fall, speculation about who will run for the top spot is swirling.

Surrey First councillors Hepner, Bruce Hayne and Tom Gill have all expressed interest in the seat, though none have come out publicly confirming their intentions.

On Sunday, Coun. Linda Hepner wouldn’t say whether she would be running for mayor.

She said the Surrey First team will be in discussions over the next few weeks about strategy and candidates, including who will lead the charge, but added the group is “fairly close to a decision.”

Of whether he would run for mayor, Coun. Bruce Hayne only said, “Certainly if the team asked me to, I would consider it,” adding the team not only has to pick a mayoral candidate, but three additional council running mates.

Coun. Tom Gill said there’s “no question” that he’s been interested in running for mayor over the last number of months. But he is having some reservations, including the time commitment, his young family and his desire to still continue in his professional career as an accountant.

And independent Coun. Barinder Rasode has said she would “strongly consider” running for mayor if Watts didn’t.

Last week, Rasode left Surrey First to sit as an independent on council. She claimed the more questions she asked of council, the more “hostile” the relationship had become.

After Watts’ announcement on Saturday, Rasode wouldn’t confirm whether or not she would be running for mayor.

And there’s been speculation that McCallum may be jumping back into Surrey’s political arena after he came out with strong words about the dollars spent on the glitzy new city hall and criticisms of the Surrey City Development Corporation.

So far, the only mayoral candidate to confirm plans to run this fall is Vikram Bajwa, who ran for mayor in the 2011 election, garnering 4,481 votes – six per cent of the total count.

A poll released Monday by Insights West suggests four current councillors hold similar levels of acquaintance with the population.

Click here to read about the poll.

"The race for the mayor’s chair appears to be wide open…. Councillor Barinder Rasode enjoys the strongest level of high familiarity over Linda Hepner, Tom Gill and Bruce Hayne," the press release states.

adding that four current councillors hold similar levels of acquaintance with the population. “Councillor Barinder Rasode enjoys the strongest level of high familiarity over Linda Hepner, Tom Gill and Bruce Hayne,” the press release states. – See more at: http://www.thenownewspaper.com/news/surrey-residents-ready-for-change-at-city-hall-poll-suggests-1.1005548#sthash.XK6aaFLb.dpuf

adding that four current councillors hold similar levels of acquaintance with the population. “Councillor Barinder Rasode enjoys the strongest level of high familiarity over Linda Hepner, Tom Gill and Bruce Hayne,” the press release states. – See more at: http://www.thenownewspaper.com/news/surrey-residents-ready-for-change-at-city-hall-poll-suggests-1.1005548#sthash.XK6aaFLb.dpuf

Seven per cent of those surveyed said they were very familiar with Rasode, six per cent with Gill, five per cent with Hepner and three per cent with Hayne.

Twenty five per cent of those surveyed said they were "somewhat familiar" with Hepner, 22 per cent with Gill, 21 per cent with Rasode and 13 per cent with Hayne.

 

areid@thenownewspaper.com