A while back, I mentioned I was going to start doing endorsements (reversing an earlier plan not to do endorsements…so, I’m fitting right in with politics). I’m starting with Kitchissippi Ward.
Kitchissippi has been the one-and-done ward. Last time, Jeff Leiper beat Katherine Hobbes, who beat Christine Leadman, who took over from Shawn Little after he dropped out. (Little was the last councillor to serve multiple terms.)
Leiper is up against one opponent, this year, Daniel Stringer. Stringer has been a resident of the area for decades, has run previously for a variety of offices…and I think he might have been a school board trustee?
So can Leiper buck the trend, or are we looking at councillor Stringer?
Endorsement: Jeff Leiper. Look, this wasn’t really difficult (the Rogers debate is on TV tonight, and I’m making the endorsement before I even watch it). Leiper has been a good councillor. Sure, occasionally, he might be a tad too anti-development, and, yes, he tweets out song lyrics a little too much, but those are really the main things going against him. This isn’t just an endorsement, this is a prediction. Leiper seems like a lock.
Look, I met Daniel Stringer about 25 years ago. He was vying for the nomination in Ottawa-West in the ’93 federal election. He seemed like a nice guy who meant well, but good intentions and a good demeanour just aren’t enough. If you’re going to take down a hard-working, productive councillor who has done his best to make his ward and this city a better place, you need something more.
It’s fine that Leiper is getting a challenge. And Stringer is probably as good as anyone who would bother taking a run, but there’s just no reason to turn to someone new in 2018.