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Three names in the hat to be Vernon's next mayor

Darrin Taylor poses for a photo on Friday, July 30, 2018 in Vernon.
August 09, 2018 - 5:30 PM

VERNON - A former mayor, a former mayoral candidate and a political outsider have all said they're putting their names in the hat for the Vernon's top job.

Former Vernon Mayor Wayne Lippert, along with former mayoral challenger Victor Cummings have both said they will be running for mayor in this fall's upcoming election. Art Gourley, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for council in 2014, is also putting his name on the ballot paper for mayor.

City of Vernon spokesperson Nick Nilsen said 10 people have picked up electoral registration packages from City Hall so far, although Nilsen said he wasn't at liberty to give out names until their applications were received which couldn't happen until registration opens on Sept. 4. Candidates have from Sept. 4 until Sept. 10 to register.

Lippert, who sat as mayor for two terms from 2005 to 2011 but lost to Rob Sawatzky in 2014 said he'd been encouraged in part by so many people asking him to run again.

"I'm getting a lot of push to go back," Lippert said. "I'm getting a lot of support from groups who didn't support me last time but have asked me to [run] this time.

Being beaten by current Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund in the 2015 election hasn't put off Victor Cumming who said he will run this fall. A professional economist since 1980, Cumming also said he'd been encouraged by people in the community to run for mayor.

"I have a passion for community development. It's my professional and formal education and now I would like to focus on my home region and community."

Political outsider Art Gourley also confirmed his plan to run for the top position. After his last run, Gourley later became embroiled in a legal battle in 2017 after council made allegations he harassed and verbally abused staff and councillors.

"I was thinking should I or shouldn't I, but now I'm going to for sure," said Gourley.

Another political outsider Darrin Taylor, who recently chaired the Activate Safety Task Force also hinted he may run for mayor. "I'll be making an announcement in the next week or two," he said. When asked what that announcement would be he replied, "you'll have to wait."

City of Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund did not respond to our call by press time and hasn't said publicly if he intends to run again.

The election takes place Oct. 20.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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