If students in Grande Prairie had their way, all five incumbents would be re-elected to city council, along with four newcomers. Grade 6 students from 22 schools in the city heard from the candidates at a forum earlier this month, and then cast their ballots in a mock election.
In the City of Grande Prairie, Bill Given received the most votes for mayor, with 1,165. His opponents were Dick Baillie with 520, Theodore Nikiforuk with 99, and Rony Rajput with 27.
The rest of the eight member council would be made up of Chris Thiessen (839), Jackie Clayton (803), Dylan Bressey (729), Kevin McLean (728), Clyde Blackburn (625), Kevin O’Toole (610), Wade Pilat (605), and Shannon Dunfield (559).
In the County of Grande Prairie, a total of five schools took part in voting for candidates from four of the seven divisions up for election. Their votes went to Daryl Beeston in Division 2, Ross Sutherland in Division 4, Bob Marshall in Division 5, and Corey Beck in Division 9.
By a slim margin, students at Beaverlodge Elementary School would pick Roger Loberg (22) for mayor over Gary Rycroft (17). At Robert W. Zahara, students would elect Bruce Black, Clinton Froehlick, Dennis Stredulinsky, Ian Penner, Isak Skjaveland, and Kate Potter to council.
The youth also cast their ballots for school board trustees. 15 schools voted in the Grande Prairie Public School District, electing John Lehners, Lesley Craig, Lynn Driedger, Rob Martin, Sarah Dennis, Steve Harvel, and Tim Burnham. 12 schools in the Peace Wapiti School Division also voted, choosing Wendy Kelm over Cameron Donald.
In the Grande Prairie Catholic School District, eight schools took part in the student vote. They picked Jason Gunther, Jennifer Adams-Hessel, Keith Redl, Michael Ouelette, and Stacey Twerdochlib to represent them.