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Potential candidates already showing interest in municipal election

The municipal election is 10 months away, but the city has already heard from several people who want their name on the ballot. Albertans will be heading to the polls on October 16th to pick who will represent their municipality for the next four years.

Two members of city council have confirmed they’ll be seeking re-election. Mayor Bill Given wants to keep his seat, saying there’s still much more he’s looking to get done.

“I foresee a lot more important work as we get into the new regime of intermunicipal collaboration that the province is going to require next term, and I’m excited about participating in that and I’m looking forward to representing the city’s interests so I’m happy to let my name stand for mayor.”

Given was the youngest person to ever be elected to Grande Prairie city council at the age of 24 in 2001, and was then the youngest mayor in 2010.

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Councillor Chris Thiessen is the only other member of city council to confirm he’ll be on the ballot so far. He’s wrapping up his first term and wants to put what he’s learned towards another four years.

“There’s lot of stuff I’ve been working on around the environment and social advocacy issues like housing and homelessness that I think are more long-term goals than short-term thinking,” he says. “Part of the job is immersing yourself into that public spotlight for better or for worse.”

Thiessen encourages anyone else thinking about getting involved in municipal politics to look into it further. Anyone looking to run this year will need to register with city hall before accepting any campaign contributions. That includes self-funded candidates. A returning officer has been appointed to handle any questions.

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