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21 candidates certified for Brantford Ward 1 vacancy

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Twenty-one candidates have been certified for consideration by city councillors to fill a vacant Ward 1 seat.

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That’s the same number who applied by the Nov. 19 deadline.

They are: Sandra Biggar, Gino Caputo, Debi Dignan-Rumble, Catherine Grieve, Linda Hunt, Erica James, Jared LeMay, Sherry Lickers, Mark Littell, Mario Lucente, Paul MacDougall, Rebecca Moscoe, Tiffany Nelson,  James Ray, Randy Schelhas, Rose Sicoli, John Starkey, Andy Straisfeld, Michael Sullivan, John Turmel and Mike Tutt.

City councillors will meet during a special meeting Dec. 11 to decide on the successful candidate, whose term of office will begin Dec. 21 and end when a new council is sworn in after the 2022 municipal election.

The seat was declared vacant Oct. 26 with the resignation of Coun. Rick Weaver for health reasons.

Council decided to fill the vacancy by appointment and sought applicants for the position instead of holding a byelection or appointing the third-place finisher in the last election. Each of the city’s five wards has two representatives.

In 2018, Sullivan was the third-place finisher behind Weaver and Coun. Jan Vanderstelt. Lucente finished fourth.

The list of candidates includes others from the 2018 election. They are: James, who finished fifth in the Ward 2 race; Hunt, who finished third in Ward 3; and Littell, who finished third in Ward 5.

Littell is chair of the Brantford police services board. He served a term on council from 2006 to 2010 and unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2010 and 2014. He also unsuccessfully sought the Progressive Conservative nomination in Brantford-Brant for the 2018 Ontario election and the local Conservative nomination for the 2021 federal election.

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Starkey served on city council for 19 years, starting with his election as alderman in Ward 1 in 1978. He was re-elected in 1980, 1982 and 1985 before standing down after a serious injury from a car accident in 1988. He returned to council in 1997 and served another term. In 2003, he was elected as a Ward 5 councillor but only served three years before standing down again.

Dignan-Rumble served one term on council, representing Ward 3 from 2010 to 2014.

Turmel is a perennial candidate in elections locally and across the country. He has the distinction, according to Guiness World Records, of holding the record for the most elections contested and for the most elections lost.

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