Mayoral contender Paul Brown has the backing of a new political slate, launched Monday.
“I strongly believe Open Victoria will bring greater openness and transparency to the city’s affairs,” Brown said to a few dozen people gathered on the steps of City Hall.
Open Victoria is a registered civic elector organization. The quasi-political party, established with 50 signatories, does not run political campaigns, explained spokesperson Derry McDonell. However, the name Open Victoria will appear on the ballot beside the candidates it endorses.
So far, it has endorsed Brown, a government consultant, and three political newcomers as candidates for council: Linda Lisa McGrew, director of a conservation society; Aaron Hall, a realtor; and Sukhi Lalli, a Langford resident and owner of a downtown Victoria pharmacy.
“For Victoria to have a sustainable, financially sound future for its residents … there is some serious work that needs to be undertaken,” said McDonell.
To do this, Victoria needs an administration that shares information of taxation, major expenditures and infrastructure needs in a timely fashion, he explained. “We need a mayor and council with the will and determination to implement this vision.”
Also on the Open Victoria team, in the role of communications advisor, is Ross Crockford, who led the campaign opposing the city’s process to replace the Johnson Street Bridge.
Meanwhile, more candidates are declaring their intentions to run outside the new slate. A third mayoral contender has tentatively dipped his toe in the two-way race between Brown and Mayor Dean Fortin.
“I still haven’t made my decision yet,” said Steve Filipovic. “I want to win. I’d rather be a councillor than a second-place mayor candidate.”
To date, he’s run for both positions, in the 2008 election for mayor and the 2010 byelection for councillor. He placed third in each race.
Also seeking a seat on council:
• Shellie Gudgeon owns Fifth Street Bar and Wood Fired Grill, and was among the first to invest in the rejuvenation of Quadra Village.
• John Turner, who founded the Community Services Association.
The municipal election will be held Nov. 19.