Watson expected to announce bid for mayor's chair - Metro US

Watson expected to announce bid for mayor’s chair

“It’s going to be fun.”

That’s what Bay Ward Coun. Alex Cullen, already a candidate for mayor, said of the prospect of Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Jim Watson stepping into the race.

After months of speculation, Watson is releasing a statement this morning “regarding his political future,” a press release stated. He is expected to announce his intention to run for mayor. Watson served as mayor of Ottawa in 1997.

If Watson does enter the race, he’ll be a major player, said Cullen.

“What voters will have to find out is, ‘What does Jim Watson stand for?’” he said.

Cullen said people should look at the choices Watson is offering in terms of rapid transit, sewage into the river and other city services.

Watson would be the second provincial cabinet minister to move into municipal politics.

Former deputy premier George Smitherman is registered to run in Toronto.

After a difficult year for the provincial Liberals with OLG, eHealth and the HST, it appears as if high profile Grits are jumping a sinking ship, said Ottawa Nepean Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod, who has been pressing Watson for weeks at Queen’s Park to reveal whether or not he would run for mayor.

“He’s going to make a decision based on his own self-interest and not the best interest of the city,” said MacLeod. “Otherwise, he would have done that for taxpayers earlier in terms of communicating his ambitions to the public.”

Last week, Watson told Metro Ottawa people have been encouraging him to run for mayor.

“It’s evident that there are challenges that emanate from the budget process, transportation and environmental issues,” he said recently.

More from our Sister Sites