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Will mayoral race get out voters? - Metro US

Will mayoral race get out voters?

With eight candidates already running for the city’s top spot and nearly five months until the election, the race for Calgary’s mayor is heating up.

Calgarian Selina Renfrow, 25, said that she has never voted in a civic election because she didn’t think there was enough competition but is planning on hitting the polling station this year.

“Even though there was a ton of candidates (in 2007) … you kind of knew right off that Dave was going to win again,” she said.

“I think (this election) is much better than the last civic election when everyone was pretty much unknown.”

While this race boasts more high-profile contenders such as MLA Kent Hehr and current Calgary alderman Joe Connelly, chair of the department of political science at Mount Royal University Bruce Foster, said that doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in voter turnout.

“It does have the virtue of being kind of a fresh start election with Bronconnier retiring,” explained Foster, “but when you get up into that many candidates it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to have an engaged public, it just means it becomes noisier.”

Foster said it’s too early to tell whether this election will generate enough buzz to get people out to the polls.

“Generally speaking if you have that many candidates … with the exception of their own circle of supporter and friends, you’re not likely going to see that big of a rise in numbers,” he said.
Calgarians will go to the polls Oct. 18.

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