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Vernon News

Not much competition in Vernon election race, yet

Vernon City Hall

VERNON - So far, there’s relatively little competition in the Vernon municipal election race compared to previous years.

The City of Vernon reports ten nomination packages have been picked up since Sept. 2. We know three of those can be attributed to Mary-Jo O’Keefe, Victor Cummings  and Klaus Tribes, all of whom are competing for the mayor’s seat. Current Vernon mayor Rob Sawatzky won’t be seeking reelection.

That leaves seven others, but we don’t know if they’re running for mayor or for councillor. 

What we do know is in the previous two elections, there were a lot more than a total of ten nominees.

In the 2008 municipal election six people tossed their hat in for mayor, and 13 for councillor. In 2011, there were only three candidates for mayor, but 15 competed for one of six councillor positions. 

Candidates have until Oct. 10 to submit their nomination papers, so there’s still time for new faces in the race. At that point, the city will announce all official candidates.

General voting day is Nov. 15 and advance polls will be available Nov. 5 and 12. For more information on who can vote, where to vote and when to vote, visit the city’s website.

Mary-Jo O’Keefe

This mayoral candidate already has a seat on Vernon council, but not the one she has her eye on in the upcoming election. O’Keefe has served two terms on Vernon council and sat on the Vernon school board for 15 years. She is currently the president and owner of MJ Communications, a marketing solutions business.

Victor Cumming

An economist by trade, this is Cumming’s first time running for council. The father of four has lived in Vernon since 1992 and operates Westcoast CED Consulting Ltd. Cumming's firm works with local, regional and First Nations governments in Canada. He has also taught community economic development at Simon Fraser University.

Klaus Tribes

This former city councillor is itching to get back into politics. The 74-year-old served as councillor for 18 years and “wants to get back at it.” Tribes spent 39 years running a restaurant in Vernon and most recently worked as a breakfast ambassador at the Fairfield Inn.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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