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Ward Sutherland withdraws from Calgary municipal election

Ward 1 Coun. Ward Sutherland, who had initially submitted his nomination papers to run again, has decided to withdraw from this year’s election.

Sutherland confirmed the news in an afternoon press conference outside the Calgary Stampede. This follows Ward 5 Coun. George Chahal’s announcement last week that he would withdraw from the municipal election. Chahal is now running for the federal liberals in Calgary Skyview.

After signalling his intention to run in this election, Sutherland has decided instead to leave and help mayoral candidate Jeff Davison’s campaign. He will join that team as a senior advisor.

“I love Calgary. I am honoured to have served the last eight years as the City of Calgary Councillor for Ward 1,” Sutherland said.

“It has been a privilege to ser the same communities where my wife and I made a family and home to our children.”

First elected in 2013, Sutherland has served the past two terms on council. He won by a narrow margin of 86 votes over Chris Harper that first election.   In the 2021 election, Gaz Qamar and Jacob McGregor were slated to be his opponents.

This decision leaves Calgary with only four confirmed incumbents running in the upcoming municipal election: Peter Demong in Ward 14, Diane Colley-Uruquhart in Ward 13 Gian-Carlo Carro in Ward 9 and Sean Chu in Ward 4. Other councillors are either leaving municipal politics or running for mayor.

Sutherland has served on a variety of boards with the city, including chair of the Business Advisory Committee and the Utilities and Corporate Services committee. He also served as vice-chair of the Events Centre Assessment Committee.

Boosting the Davison campaign

Sutherland said Calgary’s at a critical point in its history – and in the economic recovery.

“We are a city that has gone through a boom and bust cycle, a pandemic and a collapse in commodity prices. We need strong leadership to get Calgary through the next decade – and I believe Jeff Davison is best-suited to provide us that leadership.”

Davison and Sutherland led the Calgary event centre assessment team and have been allied on many recent Calgary issues.

Calgary’s municipal election is Oct. 18, 2021.