A record 85 candidates will compete for 40 seats in Westshore local governments
Sooke has 27 candidates for seven seats
September 13, 2022
Sooke has 27 people running to lead the district for the next four years, including all but one member of the current council, and several who have run previously. Four candidates for mayor include two-term incumbent Maja Tait, who also served as a councillor for two terms before that, John Knops, Mick Rhodes, and William Wallace. Rhodes ran last year, earning 135 votes to Tait’s 2,299. None of the three mayoral challengers have publicized information about their platforms.
Among the candidates for council, all of the current members except for Ebony Logins have registered to run again; Logins is running for the Sooke School Board. Britt Sandowski, who wrote Sooke Pocket News and runs the Sooke Chamber of Commerce, has put her name forward for council after an unsuccessful bid for the school board in 2018.
Four candidates—Steve Anderson, Herb Haldane, Kevin Pearson, and Jeff Stewart—have previously served on council or other positions. The other 13 are first-time candidates, mostly unaffiliated with any elector group or organization, though four candidates are affiliated with Elections for Change, a non-registered group with the slogan, “Let’s get back on track.” That group also has three affiliated school board candidates. Sooke has six council seats that will be contested among 24 candidates.
In Langford, longtime Mayor Stew Young announced he will run again, flanked by four current councillors and two new candidates. Shannon Russell Willing, former advisor to Premier John Horgan, and Shirley Atkinson, former mayor of Port McNeill, were named as new candidates along with incumbent Couns. Matt Sahlstrom, Lanny Seaton, Roger Wade, and Norma Stewart. The seven are endorsed by an elector organization called Community First Langford.
Couns. Lillian Szpak and Denise Blackwell are also planning to run again as incumbents, but neither are part of this slate nor the Langford Now elector organization. Langford Now is a new political organization that grew out of the Langford Voters for Change Facebook group. Five candidates for council are endorsed by the group: Mary Wagner, Colby Harder, Kimberley Guiry, Keith Yacucha, and Mark Morley.
School board trustee Wendy Hobbs has decided not to run for the school board, but will try again to earn a seat on Langford council. That makes 14 candidates for six positions. Two people are registered to challenge Young for the mayor’s seat: Scott Peter Goodmanson and Dan Oickle. Neither are affiliated with an elector organization.
In Colwood, 12 people have put their names forward for council. Mayor Rob Martin will face Coun. Doug Kobayashi for the mayoral seat. Martin beat out the former mayor, Carol Hamilton, in 2018 after serving one term as councilor. That result could repeat if Kobayashi has a similar level of support this year as he did in 2018. In his first Colwood election Kobayashi had the highest number of votes of any candidate—355 more than Martin.
Kobayashi also ran as a Liberal candidate for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke in last year’s snap federal election, losing to incumbent NDP MP Randall Garrison.
From the current council, everyone except for Coun. Gordie Logan is running again, plus six other candidates. Misty Olsen ran unsuccessfully in 2018 and will try again this year, as well as Steven MacAskill, Kim Jordison, Kim Mohns, Ian Ward, and Sacha Veelbehr.
MacAskill is the youngest candidate, who recently graduated from Belmont Secondary’s French immersion program, and is now studying business at UVic. Jordison is from a military family with long ties to CFB Esquimalt, and has lived in the Westshore with her family for years. Ward is a human resources professional who’s campaign focuses on following Colwood’s OCP. Mohns, a real estate agent, hasn’t shared any campaign marketing yet. Veelbehr also hasn’t posted any public information about her campaign. She lives in Oak Bay and ran in the federal election last year in Quebec.
In Metchosin, 10 people have declared their intention to run for council, including two current councillors who will compete for the mayor’s seat: Marie-Térèse Little and Kyara Kahakauwila. Little has served one term as councillor, and Kahakauwila has been on council since 1999 with a four-year break before 2014. Eight candidates will compete for four council seats, and only Coun. Sherry Epp is an incumbent. Longtime Mayor John Ranns decided in January he would not run for reelection, and Coun. Andy MacKinnon also decided against more politics.
In Highlands, Mayor Ken Williams is uncontested, and nine people will vie for the six council seats, including all of the current council. The three non-incumbent candidates are Guy Brisebois, Ken Brotherston and Marie Brotherston. View Royal has a slate of nine people running for the seven seats—formerly there were only five council spots. All of the current council is running again, plus one challenger for mayor and three new council candidates.
The Westshore and Capital Daily have sent candidates a survey to fill out on election issues. If you are a candidate who has not received a link to the online survey, please email our municipal affairs reporter Shannon Waters.