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Record number of city council candidates

Three people will be challenging Bill Given for his spot as mayor of Grande Prairie. The unofficial candidate list for the City of Grande Prairie has Dick Baillie, Theodore Nikiforuk and Rony Rajput running against him.

This year’s race for city council is the biggest in the city’s history. 19 people are running for one of eight seats on council, including four incumbents. The previous record was 17 in 1983.

Jackie Clayton, Kevin McLean, Kevin O’Toole, and Chris Thiessen have put their names up for reelection. Councillors Dwight Logan, Lorne Radbourne, Helen Rice and Rory Tarant are not looking to return.

Tarant waited until nomination day to make his announcement. He says with his growing family and businesses, his focus was pulled in different directions.

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“I just felt like I wasn’t doing a service to anyone by having such divided loyalties and it’s increasingly difficult having the two priorities. I really felt that I needed to put a little more focus into my life.”

Tarant was elected in 2013. He says he’ll most miss working with his council colleagues, even if they didn’t always agree.

“I will definitely continue to be involved… If the next council sees fit, I’d love to still be on some of the external committees that council has.”

Hoping to be a fresh face on council this year are Clyde Blackburn, Dylan Bressey, John Croken, Shannon Dunfield, Sydney M. Fletcher, Eunice Friesen, John Alger Mark Kriska, Yadvinder Singh Minhas, Cheryl Montgomery, Timothy Nesbitt, Wade Pilat, Tyla Savard, Morgan Suurd, Cam White, and Mike Wolfel.

Candidates still have until noon Tuesday to change their mind.

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