New West voters will soon have more clarity about which council and school board candidates will be supported by Community First.
The left-leaning Community First electoral organization held its founding annual general meeting on April 28. It’s holding its nomination meeting on May 18, at which time it’s expected to announce the mayoral, councillor and school trustee candidates it will support in the Oct. 15 civic election.
On May 12, Coun. Patrick Johnstone became the first local politician to announce he’d be seeking a nomination from Community First. He’s seeking the group’s mayoral nomination.
Cheryl Greenhalgh, chair of the Community First, said candidates are still being interviewed so she couldn’t say how many people would be endorsed by the group.
“The first step is for them to indicate they are interested. That deadline has passed,” she said. “The candidate search committee is interviewing. I haven’t actually had the report back yet so I don’t know what the full slate will look like. I don’t have that full list yet.”
After being vetted, which includes a “dive into social media” and “lots of questions” – especially of new candidates, potential candidates are interviewed by the candidate selection committee.
“From there, any candidate who has a green light to go forward will be on the ballot,” Greenhalgh said.
Greenhalgh said she didn’t have specifics about the number of people who had sought the party’s nomination for the various elected positions.
“There seems to be a fair bit of buzz of interest,” she said. “People were quite keen to reach out and talk to us about running.”
Greenhalgh said she anticipates that Community First will be endorsing a mix of incumbents and non incumbents.
“I am waiting for them to finish their interviews, and then they will present that to the executive at a meeting,” she said. “I think there is quite a few new candidates. There are some names that will probably be new to me.”
The executive is expected to meet on Saturday, May 14. Community First members will meet on May 18 and vote by secret ballot on the candidates the party will support in the civic election.