Second high-profile staffer in a month to leave O’BrienSecond high-profile staffer in a month to leave O’Brien
For the second time in a month, the mayor’s office has lost a high-level staffer, but this time the reason isn’t personal.
Mike Patton, spokesman for Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien, announced yesterday outside of city hall that he has decided to resign effective immediately in order to run for a provincial seat in the riding of Ottawa West-Nepean.
The Ottawa West-Nepean Provincial Progressive Conservative Association asked Patton to run about 10 days ago, and Patton alerted O’Brien to the possibility he might accept last week.
Patton’s resignation comes on the heels of the departure last week of O’Brien’s chief of staff, Walter Robinson, who announced his resignation in late June, leaving the mayor’s office without two of its organizers at nearly the same time.
Robinson, who cited disagreements with the mayor as the reason behind his June 27 resignation, spent six months in the role. But there was no such reason behind Patton’s departure. He decided he must resign in order to concentrate on the nomination, adding, “I can’t very well ask the mayor to keep the position open.
“I’d rather stay, but I have to do what I think is right at the end of the day,” he said.
The most important thing now, he said, is to appeal to Ottawa West-Nepean. Patton’s lived in the riding all his life and said that he’s been able to put together a team on short notice.
“But at the end of the day, it’s up to the voters to decide,” he said. “I can offer a change, first and foremost.”
Describing the riding’s incumbent Liberal Jim Watson as “a great guy,” Patton nevertheless believes the MPP and health promotion minister has “never really delivered for Ottawa West-Nepean.”
The nomination meeting for the Ottawa West-Nepean Provincial PC Association will be held in the next couple of weeks, said Patton.
“The job I have now is the best communications job in Ottawa,” he said. But going for the nomination is the right choice for him, Patton added.