In any election, the public is always best served by a battle of ideas between several strong candidates. But I’d be surprised if a significant player, like Paul Dewar or Vern White, decided to run against incumbent mayor Jim Watson this year.
While political pundits and members of the media like to speculate about possible challengers, running for mayor is no small endeavour. Given that Watson has kept his promises on tax increases and has endured no significant scandals in the past seven years, there’s not enough appetite for change to make a challenger anything but a long shot at the start of the campaign.
Beyond that, Watson is not an easy person to run against. He has the advantage of being the incumbent and he puts more time into his job than almost any other politician. So why would anyone quit a paying job and give up a year of his or her life without a reasonable shot at winning?
Anything can happen in politics, and October is a long way from now. But the most likely scenario is that Watson won’t face any significant challenge for another term as mayor.