Kate Potter is back on the campaign trail. The former Sexsmith town councillor is running to become mayor, a year after she was elected to council and just one month after seeking the nomination of the United Conservative Party in the Grande Prairie – Wapiti riding.
A byelection was called following the passing of Mayor Claude Lagace, and Potter stepped down from her position on council to run. She calls the circumstances unfortunate, but says a new leader has to be chosen.
“I was really encouraged by the majority of council as well as a number of residents to put my name forward. I have tried to, while I’ve been on council, work with the other councillors and make sure that we’re effective.”
Potter stresses that on top of representing residents, the mayor’s job is to make sure council works together well. The family literacy coordinator believes she’s the candidate who can best do that.
“I’ve already connected well with the other councillors and tried to hear everybody’s sides of things because I don’t want to make a decision on something without first considering what other people have to say.”
There is so far a three-way race for the mayorship, as fellow former councillor Ian Penner and Sexsmith Chamber of Commerce President Jacqueline Jensen are also in the running. Potter hopes what she learned in her previous political campaigns will help her moving forward.
“As an elected official, what we’re trying to do is represent well the community or the area that we are running in, and for me, that’s connecting with people. You want to make sure that people feel their voice is heard and really are heard; it’s not just sort of platitude.”
Nominations are due on November 19th and Sexsmith residents will vote for their next mayor and replacements for Potter and Penner on December 17th.