Calgarians will know by later this afternoon who will be on the ballot this October, as nomination day at city hall began with a flurry.
Ric McIver filed relatively early in the morning, leading a steady stream of candidates vying for the positions of alderman, mayor and school trustee in the Oct. 18 election.
Already one somewhat surprising move was the withdrawal of Liberal MLA Kent Hehr from the mayoral race, citing poor polling numbers after a recent Calgary Herald / CTV poll that ran Sunday.
Hehr had recently launched a punchy billboard campaign that said, "a bullet can't stop him nothing can." Hehr is reported to have put his support behind Naheed Nenshi, who filed his nomination papers shortly after 10 a.m.
Nenshi filed his papers to a chorus of applause this morning, after taking city transit from the McKnight Westwinds LRT station in Calgary's northeast.
Nenshi said it's a three horse race, and although he realizes he's the third in that group, behind McIver and Barb Higgins, he still believes he has a solid chance of winning, noting in a media scrum after delivering his nomination papers that both Edmonton and Toronto have mayors that were not originally front runners in their contest.
UPDATE: 11:15 a.m.
Bob Hawkesworth has filed his nomination papers, as has former Ward 11 alderman, Barry Erskine. Erskine had been rumoured to be making a bid, telling Metro late last week he was still wrangling up enough signatures to make the required amount.
After filing, Erskine said, "I may be a dark horse, but maybe I can stir things up a little bit."
At this time, Higgins just filed her papers and a host of other candidates have filed theirs.
Update 11:45 a.m.
With only 15 minutes left to file, a stream of mayoral candidates made their way to file papers. Ward 6 candidate Joe Connelly, who some suggested may decide to pack it in, confidently filed mayoral nomination papers and has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow to outline his plan to "take back the city."
Former CTV news anchor Barb Higgins also filed her papers mid-morning, saying it was a two-horse race and has four weeks to win. Higgins said she wasn't surprised by several last minute drop-outs from the race.
She now plans to kick her campaign into high gear, enlightening the public on her somewhat vague campaign platform to this point.
Higgins took a shot at her naysayers saying she's "just as qualified as anyone else" for the job of mayor.
We'll keep posting updates as they happen on today's nomination day at Calgary city hall.