Long-time Edmonton politician Amarjeet Sohi hasn’t decided if he will run for mayor in the upcoming election, contrary to a news report Thursday.
Sohi, a former member of Parliament and city councillor, told Postmedia Thursday afternoon he was surprised to see an article by The Hill Times citing anonymous sources that he would be officially entering the race to be Edmonton’s mayor race this month.
Instead, Sohi said he is “seriously considering” a run for mayor but hasn’t made a decision. He said he is continuing to engage with residents on what they would like to see in a leader and has no timeline for an announcement either way.
“I’ve lived in Edmonton for 40 years and I love our city and we have faced a number of difficult challenges over the last few years, particularly over the last 14 months living through a pandemic and we’re still living through that. But I also believe that coming out of this pandemic we will continue to face significant challenges as well as opportunities, so that is why I’m seriously considering to run to be Edmonton’s next mayor,” Sohi said. “It’s a huge, huge responsibility and I want to continue to engage with more Edmontonians over the next while to understand their priorities and what their ambitions are about our city. But I am deeply committed to our city and I want to play my part in providing that leadership.”
Sohi was elected as Ward 12 city councillor for three terms starting in 2007 before resigning in 2015 to run federally. He then served as the Liberal member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods and took on the roles of minister of natural resources and minister of infrastructure and communities before losing his seat in the 2019 election.
If Sohi does enter the mayor’s race, he will join three other candidates who have served on Edmonton city council. Mayor Don Iveson announced last November he would not be running for a third time leaving an open race for the mayor’s chair. Current Ward 11 Coun. Mike Nickel is running for mayor for the third time and former councillors Kim Krushell and Michael Oshry have confirmed their candidacy.
Cheryll Watson, Diana Steele, Brian Gregg, Rick Comrie, Abdul Malik Chukwudi and Augustine Marah have also registered, bringing the number of confirmed candidates to nine.
Aspiring candidates for both mayor and the 12 councillor seats have until Sept. 30 to officially register. Edmontonians will go to the polls on Oct. 18.