After endless speculation, Mayor Stephen Mandel finally answered the question that was on everyone’s mind.

“Yes, I do predict the Eskimos will turn home-field advantage into a Grey Cup,” he said, to the chuckles of media at the Bissell Centre yesterday.

Oh yeah, and he’s seeking re-election.

“I am pleased to confirm I will be a candidate this October,” he said.

So while the campaigning will officially begin by the end of the summer, the mayor’s announcement has gotten the ball rolling with plenty of lead time. Campaign issues that will be hot topics range from expansion of the city’s LRT network to the construction of a new downtown arena and facilities for Edmonton’s 2017 Expo bid.

“You have to believe you’re the right person for this job,” Mandel said. “It’s been a remarkable experience.

“I think we’ve become a capital city again.”

Mandel has led the city since October 2004. His wife, Lynn, and daughter Rachel attended the presser as well.