Coun. Fred Haynes Monday announced his candidacy for mayor in Saanich. The first-term councillor is so far the only declared candidate to run against incumbent Mayor Richard Atwell. Wolf Depner/News Staff

Coun. Fred Haynes to run for mayor against Mayor Atwell

Haynes to go head-to-head with Atwell for Saanich mayoral seat in 2018

Coun. Fred Haynes wants Mayor Richard Atwell’s job.

The first-term councillor announced Monday he will run for Saanich’s top political job during this year’s municipal election on Saturday, Oct. 20.

With this declaration, Haynes becomes the first publicly-declared candidate to challenge Atwell, who announced his intention to run more than a year ago. At this time no one else has declared an intention to run for mayor.

“The decision to run has been in response to an overwhelming number of requests from people, who I meet in the streets, in the shops, on the beaches, in the parks, asking me to run for mayor,” said Haynes. “It’s actually very similar to why I ran in 2014.”

Haynes is in his first term as a councillor, having finished fifth among the eight elected candidates in 2014, with 13,492. votes.

Before running in 2014, Haynes had held various leadership positions with a list of environmental, educational and community organizations inside and outside of Saanich, including chair of the Saanich Community Association Network (SCAN), the organization representing Saanich’s community organizations.

Haynes, however, refused to say how his mayorship will differ from Atwell’s in policy and governing approach.

“It is very important that we continue with good governance of Saanich,” he said. “I expect to be asked that question a lot, and I will decline answering that question until the campaign starts. Once the campaign starts, it will be clear the differences I will draw attention to between myself and the current mayor.”

The official campaign period begins on Saturday, Sept. 22, and ends on election day, Oct. 20.

With the actual election still nine months away, Haynes said he does not want what he calls “campaign-style conversations” to colour governance.

“From my perspective, the greater danger is interrupting the good governance of Saanich,” he said, when asked about the potential dangers of not drawing out differences.

“Good governance requires the essential ingredients of working relationships, collaborations and congeniality,” he said. “I want it to be about policy and process, not personality, until the election campaign starts. I was elected to be a councillor for Saanich for four years, and I will fulfill my mandate.”

Haynes said he had initially eyed a date near or at the start of summer to announce his candidacy.

“But some people have come up, and they are actually anxious, they are actually worried [about] the lack of certainty,” he said. “Some people are quite worried, and they asked me to put my name forward to run as mayor in the 2018 election, and I have agreed to do that.”

Haynes, a published author who holds a Ph.D. in bio-medical sciences, enters a race with high stakes. Not only is he running against an incumbent, he could also find himself out of elected politics, because he cannot run for one of the eight councillor spots and mayor at the same time.

“A risk in running for mayor is the head-to-head [competition] in a winner-take-all,” he said. “There is only one seat for mayor. There are eight seats for councillors. So mathematically, there is a much greater risk running for mayor than running for councillor.”

But Haynes appears more concerned about practice than theory.

“My next months will be about being the best councillor I can be, and having a continued conversation with residents on what they would like to see in policies and platforms during the 2018 campaign.”

This campaign, he said, would in large part continue to build on his 2014 campaign in terms of issues. Haynes has in the past pushed several measures to promote affordable housing, while calling for greater fiscal responsibility among other issues.

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Victoria writer and filmmaker turns her mental illness into mental strength

Mental illness robs Victoria woman of happiness from age 10

Physician assistants say they can help B.C. health care woes

Reducing wait times, improving doctor efficiency is the goal

Additional data from Point-in-Time survey finds most homeless people are local

Most homeless people are young men between the ages of 18 and 24

Two people sent to hospital in View Royal crash

Crash on Island Highway near Six Mile Road snarled the evening commute

Greater Victoria beach clean up recovers 655 pounds of garbage

Cigarette butts, straws discarded at alarming rates on local beaches

Legal pot price must be ‘competitive’ with black market: Blair

Bill Blair shared final words on journey to legalization ahead of official day Wednesday

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Most Read