Barrie's mayoral race begins as candidates file paperwork

Some familiar faces are vying to head council as registration opens for Barrie's 2022 municipal election.

Former councillor and MP Alex Nuttall, along with current councillor Natalie Harris announced they entered the City's mayoral race Monday morning.

Nuttall filed his nomination papers on Monday - the first-day candidates were allowed to do so.

"I am looking forward to meeting with residents and taxpayers and discussing the important issues facing our city," Nuttall said in a media release on Monday.

"I would like to thank the hundreds of people who have signed my nomination papers and to everyone who has offered their support and volunteered their time to work with me towards a stronger future for Barrie."

Harris announced she filed on Twitter.

"It's official. I have entered my name into the ring. Ready for the journey ahead," her post stated.

The search for a new mayor began after long-time Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman announced his decision to run in the provincial election.

Lehman is running as the Liberal candidate for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. He has served as Barrie's mayor since 2010 – the City's 46th.

"It was not an easy decision because I love my job as mayor of Barrie, but I do believe I have a contribution to make now at Queen's Park," Lehman said on Saturday during the official launch of his campaign office.

"There is really never a good time to go, but I do feel like we have accomplished a lot over the last 10 to 12 years."

Current councillor Mike McCann told CTV News in February he was focused on his ward, and would make a decision about running for mayor "closer to summer."

Acting Mayor Barry Ward is another possible replacement for Lehman, who has expressed interest in the past.

By Monday afternoon, the City's website listed three certified candidates, Nuttall, Harris and Rob Haverson.

The City of Barrie will host a virtual information session for prospective candidates and third-party advertisers to learn more about the nomination and registration process at 6 p.m. on June 15.

Those interested in attending the information session can register through the city website.

Registration ends on Aug. 18.