By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Former Hamilton alderman Don Ross, who jumped into the mayoral race in early January, has now jumped out of the contest.
In a news release issued April 14, Ross, 70, said he didn’t want to “split the vote and have someone valuable to our city miss an opportunity to make a difference.”
One of the main reasons Ross entered the race, he said, was to unseat Mayor Bob Bratina. In an earlier interview Ross said the mayor was “marching to a different drummer” than council and he had fostered a dysfunctional relationship with his political colleagues.
“With my experience I can bring the leadership that is lacking,” said Ross, who lives on the mountain.
But three months later, and with his mayoral campaign overshadowed by the recent announcements that Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark, a fellow Progressive Conservative, and former mayor Fred Eisenberger were joining Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie in the mayoral election, Ross decided to call it quits. Bratina announced last month he wasn’t seeking the mayor’s chair. Instead, he is contemplating a run for a federal seat and he is set on writing a couple of books about Hamilton.
“With Bob (Bratina’s) announcement that reason (for change) has evaporated,” said Ross. “Change will certainly take place at City Hall as there are a number of good candidates in the race…”
Ross spent 12 years as the Ward 8 alderman on the former city of Hamilton council from 1985 to 1997.
The veteran politician’s decision comes a few days after former mayor Larry Di Ianni announced he wouldn’t be running for the job again. Over the last few months Di Ianni has contemplated another run for mayor. He won in 2003, besting David Christopherson, but he was edged in the race three years later against Eisenberger. Di Ianni placed second to Bratina in the 2010 race.
Last week Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson, who had been considering a run for mayor, announced he would be seeking re-election as councillor.
Also in the race are Ejaz Butt, a taxi driver, Crystal Lavigne, and Nick Iamonico.
The deadline to register for the Oct. 27 election is Sept.12.