Three Winnipeggers hoping to become the city’s 44th mayor wasted no time in launching their campaigns.
Jenny Motkaluk, Don Woodstock and Chris Clacio visited the city clerk’s office to formally register their campaigns on Sunday morning, the first day candidates were eligible to fill out the paperwork.
Motkaluk, a business consultant, finished second in the 2018 mayoral race to Brian Bowman, who is not seeking another term.
She captured 36 per cent of the popular vote four years ago, but said Sunday she knows she will have even more competition in the wide-open 2022 race.
“This time it’s an open seat, and I expect nothing less, but I believe that I’m a well-known name this time, too,” she said following an address to about 15 supporters outside city hall’s council building.
Motkaluk said she is not concerned about potentially splitting the vote with other right-of-centre candidates this year. St. James Coun. Scott Gillingham, who briefly considered a PC leadership campaign last summer, plans to run this year, while Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood Coun. Kevin Klein and Manitoba Families Minister Rochelle Squires may follow suit.
“I guess that depends on if you decide that I’m just a right-of-centre candidate,” she said.
“The truth is, as we demonstrated last time, Winnipeggers from across the political spectrum supported me — across the income spectrum, education levels, different kinds of jobs.”
Motkaluk said she intends to present fewer policy positions than she did in 2018.
“I’m proud of the work that we did, but I think we had too much of a focus on that and not enough of a focus on giving Winnipeggers an opportunity to really get to know who I am,” she said.
Motkaluk’s campaign manager in 2022 is Fred Westphal, who ran Progressive Conservative candidate Obby Khan’s successful provincial campaign for the provincial Fort Whyte constituency in March.
Woodstock, who owns a security business, is also making a second run for mayor. He too ran in 2018 and finished fourth, garnering two per cent of the popular vote.
In that campaign, he carried a football as a prop. On Sunday, he showed up at city hall with a broom and encouraged Winnipeg voters to conduct a “clean sweep” of city council by voting out all incumbents.
“On Oct. 26, I want people to give us a clean slate, a brand-new, all-new council,” he said.
Woodstock also suggested members of council’s executive policy committee should be in jail, claiming they support construction fraud.
Clacio also registered a mayoral run in 2018 but did not appear on the ballot. He said he intends to door-knock early to ensure he has enough valid signatures to complete the nominations process this year.
Clacio said as mayor he would ensure Winnipeg will co-ordinate its planning more closely with the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region. He also promised more support for the technology sector and said he would turn the city’s public engagement office into a civics education office.
Mayoral candidates must register before they can raise any money for their campaigns or conduct any campaign spending.
River Heights-Fort Garry Coun. John Orlikow, Gillingham and social entrepreneur Shaun Loney have also declared their intention to run for mayor and are expected to register this week.