Handful of municipal candidates enter fray to get early jump on field

As provincial election candidates circle the province and canvas their neighbourhoods, another campaign is also quietly getting underway.

The nomination period for prospective mayors, councillors and school board trustees in the municipal election kicked off this week.

“People have an important decision to make in June for the provincial election, but after that I’ll definitely get started,” said Darcie Renaud, who was the first candidate to submit her papers to run for Windsor’s Ward 1 council seat.

In 2018, she registered on the last day, but this year, she’s wasting no time.

“I thought it would be good to go in on the very first day, I’m hoping that signals my commitment to work really hard, and I would work really hard if I was the representative in Ward 1,” Renaud said.

Over in Ward 7, Greg Lemay is also out of the gates early.

“I’ve been doing a lot of the work behind the scenes, despite not being the ward’s formal leader and I’m going to continue to do that and I think people have began to notice they need a proven fighter in their corner,” Lemay said.

Eric Renaud has filed his nomination papers for Ward 4, and familiar face Ernie Lamont — known to many as “The Baconman” — is running for mayor for the fifth time.

Neither Renaud nor Lemay will put up lawn signs until after the provincial election, but both say there’s plenty to do besides that.

“There’s a lot of doors to hit,” said Lemay, pointing to the sheer size of the city’s eastern ward.

“You have to raise a lot of money, and there’s 10,000 doors to knock on, so you really need the whole time to get that done,” Renaud added.

None of the sitting councillors or mayor in Windsor have officially declared their intentions, and while downtown councillor Rino Bortolin has hinted at a possible mayoral run, he says he remains undecided.

“At this point, no, I haven’t made an announcement for a reason, so we’ll see,” he said.

In the county, Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and LaSalle Mayor Marc Bondy have decided not to seek re-election.

The deadline to file nominations for council or school trustee candidate is August 19 and the municipal election is set for October 24, 2022.