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Isitt says he'll run again for Victoria council seat

The controversial Victoria councillor has ruled out a run for mayor
Ben Isitt is the only councillor currently sitting at the council table, so far, to indicate he will run for re-election. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Ben Isitt has ensured there will be at least one familiar name on the Victoria council ballot in the municipal election.

Isitt, who has been on council since 2011, confirmed Wednesday he would stand for re-election Oct. 15 as a councillor, ruling out a run for mayor.

“I gave strong consideration to running for mayor this year,” Isitt said.

“Ultimately, I’ve decided to seek re-election as councillor and regional director, balancing municipal service with my professional work in public-interest law.”

Last week, Isitt floated the idea of running against fellow councillors Marianne Alto and Stephen Andrew for the mayor’s chair.

Isitt previously made unsuccessful bids to be mayor in 2005 and 2002, both times losing out to Alan Lowe.

Isitt said his experience at the council table will be valuable given he is the only one currently sitting at the council table, so far, to indicate he will run for re-election.

Sitting councillors Geoff Young, Charlayne Thornton-Joe, Jeremy Loveday and Sharmarke Dubow have said they won’t run, while Alto and Andrew are competing for the mayor’s chair.

Only Coun. Sarah Potts has yet to declare her intentions.

Isitt’s platform includes pushing municipal and regional land-assembly programs for affordable housing, parks and trails and to expand fare-free public transit to seniors and low-income community members.

The nomination deadline for the Oct. 15 municipal elections is Sept. 9. As of Wednesday afternoon, five candidates had filed their nomination papers for the mayor’s race, and 14 had filed nomination papers to run for city council.

Victoria has eight city councillors and a mayor.