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Coun. Jeff Davison won’t take a Calgary mayoral run off the table

Ward 6 Coun. Jeff Davison has filed his papers to be a candidate in the upcoming Calgary municipal election – and right now it’s to run for ward re-election.

That doesn’t mean the door’s closed on a mayoral run, he told LiveWire Calgary.

Davison, first elected in 2017, said despite the city’s challenges, he believes there’s a lot to build on.

“I think for a city that is young and smart and entrepreneurial, and a city that cares deeply about one another, I think we’ve got to start thinking of some bold ideas to get us out of the situation we’re in,” he said.

Davison has championed the Rivers District redevelopment that includes the new Calgary event centre and was a proponent of Calgary’s Olympic bid.

Now, he said seeing Calgary embrace innovation and the venture capital that’s pouring into the city is a sign of good things to come.

“It’s an incredible sign that people are looking to invest in Calgary again,” he said.

“That’s something we really have to think about differently; how we’re going to capitalize and completely differently for that money.”

Davison said he’s been a civic leader that’s found common ground among different groups to do work that benefits all of Calgary.

“I think what this city needs is, we need to move forward proactively and, and continue to make our mark on the world,” he said.

No mayoral run… yet?

Despite the rampant speculation over the past several months about a mayoral campaign, Davison said he’s running for re-election in Ward 6.

He hasn’t decided on anything more than that.

According to an Alberta government Local Authorities Election Act Q&A update from October 2020, a candidate may submit, withdraw or resubmit their nomination papers as often as they wish until the official Nomination Day at noon on Sept. 20, 2021.

We asked about the rumoured run for Calgary mayor.

“To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve made that decision. I think there’s lots of time between now and October,” Davison said. He added that he wants to be a part of council because they’re building a way forward.

“I think when it comes to mayoral announcements right now, people aren’t concerned with who’s not going to be the mayor. They’re concerned with, ‘can I pay my mortgage next month’ and concerned with COVID-19.

“And so, I’m open to continually evaluating whether or not I would run for a different role.”

A ward campaign is a city-issues campaign, Davison said

Davison said that in 2017 he ran a campaign focused on localized issues. He said over the past three-plus years, many of those have been tackled. It led to bigger things, he said.

“I’ve worked on some of the biggest files at the city, that were damn near impossible, and people told me, you’ll never finish. And we’ve got those done,” Davison said.

“I’m not the smartest person in the room. The advantage of my job is, I can bring the smart people to groups, and that’s how you solve problems.”

This time around, the campaign will have a different flavour. Davison said what the city is facing today requires all hands on deck. He believes the tone of campaigns around the city will focus on moving the entire city forward together.

“So, it’s really going to be for me, a little bit of a pivot from, like I say, those localized issues, which we’re always focused on delivering on, to on much more of a city wide programming of how are we putting people back to work, how do we ensure that we set our city up to be primed for opportunity on the other side of COVID-19,” Davison said.

Calgary’s municipal election date is set for Oct. 18, 2021.