By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Hamilton councillor Brian McHattie will be the first mayoral candidate out of the gate when he registers at city hall Jan. 2 for the 2014 municipal election.
The Ward 1 councillor is expected to be surrounded by family members and supporters when he officially puts his name down on what is expected to be a crowded mayoral field. The municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 27, 2014.
This will be the second time McHattie has run for mayor. Back in 1997 he launched a challenge against long-time incumbent mayor Bob Morrow, placing fourth after receiving 5.4 per cent of the vote. Morrow continued on as mayor until Ancaster mayor Bob Wade upset his goal of becoming the first mayor of the new amalgamated city in 2000.
In the 2003 municipal election, McHattie upset incumbent Ward 1 councillor Marvin Caplan, capturing 57 per cent of the vote. Over the next two municipal elections, he has boosted his vote percentage from 62 per cent in 2006 to 64 per cent in 2010.
McHattie over the years has become well-known around the council table fighting for environmental issues, pushing for sustainable development, curtailing urban boundary expansion, and supporting alternative modes of transportation, including light-rail transit. McHattie was born in Weston, Ont., and moved to Hamiltonin 1987.
He worked for Environment Canada, the Hamilton Conservation Authority and was working towards a PhD when he won political office in 2003.
Potential candidates for municipal office need to register before they can officially receive campaign donations under the Ontario Municipal Elections Act.
McHattie is also scheduled to officially kick off his mayoral campaign later in January.
Mayor Bob Bratina is expected to seek re-election, although he has given no hint as to when that will happen. Bratina will be issuing his State of the City address Jan. 8 at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast meeting in the StelcoTower in downtown Hamilton.