Stephen Andrew at his campaign launch on Friday

Stephen Andrew at his campaign launch on Friday

Eight challenge Dean Fortin for Victoria mayoralty

Ida Chong, Stephen Andrew and Lisa Helps considered biggest challengers

An accountant, lawyer, journalist, political activist, non-profit founder and social scientist are among eight candidates who will will make a bid for the Victoria’s mayor’s job in the Nov. 15 civic election.

On Friday, former TV journalist Stephen Andrew made his candidacy official at a news conference at Centennial Square.

Andrew said he will debate the issues that matter to the people of Victoria. He wants to change the way the city is governed.

“My first priority will be to establish responsibilities, or portfolios, for each councillor to focus on the issues that have significant impact on our city,”Andrew said.

“Council must focus on setting policy, not interfering in the day-to-day work at City Hall.”

Andrew joins Mayor Dean Fortin, Coun. Lisa Helps, former cabinet minister Ida Chong, David Shebib, Changes the Clown, R. Godron and Jason Ross.

Fortin, a lawyer, said he is proud to put forward his political record – “a record of building a progressive city, a record of building a liveable city, a record of building a prosperous city.”

Chong, an accountant, is promising to freeze property tax rates for four years, invest in infrastructure, fix the Johnson Street Bridge “boondoggle” and solve the sewage standoff.

First-term city councillor Helps was the first to declare her candidacy in January. Since being elected to council in 2011, she has often championed the need for greater public engagement on projects.

“We need genuine, roundtable discussion, people sitting together and coming up with ideas right at the beginning,” said Helps, the founder of Community Micro Lending.

Rob Duncan’s campaign is part of Clowns Against Child Poverty — a public awareness campaign dedicated to “talking about the unacknowledged and unaddressed crisis of child poverty in our community.”

Duncan is a self-described social scientist.

Shebib is approaching the campaign from well outside of the mainstream and he knows it. He ran a similar campaign in 2011 in Victoria and Saanich and garnered only 161 and 173 votes, respectively.

He didn’t get any campaign contributions and he didn’t report any expenses. And like the last time, he says he’s not planning on attending any candidate forums in any jurisdiction.

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