The races for city council and the position of mayor are heating up as more candidates continue to add their names to the list.
With 48 candidates registered, including six who filed in the last week, voters will have plenty of choices on who to vote for Oct. 27. This is the second highest number of people to run for city council in 20 years, with only the 2010 election surpassing that number with 52 candidates.
One of the most recent candidates to file is Randy Diestelmann, chair of the Ford City Business Improvement Association, who is running in Ward 5.
Diestelmann owns both Spectrum Contracting and S.I.S. 713 Property Management in Windsor. The 45-year-old said he believes his experience as a business owner will help him as a councillor.
“I know it requires hard work and dedication,” said Diestelmann. “Only through that hard work and dedication can you make it work.”
He also said it’s important for whoever wins the ward to make a commitment to community involvement.
“It’s about changing perception and it’s about getting people out here to see what you see,” said Diestelmann.
The BIA chair is joining Joey Wright, Sam Drakich, John Middleton and incumbent Ed Sleiman in the election for the Ward 5 seat.
Sleiman is one of the most recent incumbent councillors to file their paperwork, announcing he would run for his second term July 25. Ward 8 Coun. Bill Marra also formally registered Friday, but did so without a public announcement. Incumbents Jo-Anne Gignac, Hilary Payne and Al Maghnieh also filed paperwork to join the races for Wards 6, 9 and 10 respectively in the past two months.
The only two current councillors who have yet to officially announce their intentions are Ward 1’s Drew Dilkens and Ward 7’s Irek Kusmierczyk.
Ward 3 candidate Rino Bortolin, who announced July 8, said the turnover rate is going to have a big impact on how council runs.
“A new crop of city councillors with new, fresh ideas and new perspective can bring about a lot of change,” said Bortolin.
The 40-year-old owner of Rino’s Kitchen and Ale House said while many people are giving a lot of attention to the mayor’s race, the 10 councillors who represent the wards can have more influence than one mayor.
“There’s always a lot of focus put on the mayor’s race and having a new mayor, whereas city council works as a majority,” said Bortolin. “So five (or) six councillors voting in a certain way has the same amount of power as a strong-willed mayor.”
Bortolin is running against Gabe Maggio, Alex Shallal and former city councillor Caroline Postma, who announced July 18.
The mayoral race is also growing larger after Ward 7 resident Mike Tessier filed to run July 29. Tessier is challenging Robin Easterbrook, Larry Horwitz, Raymond Poisson, Timothy Dugdale and Ernie the Bacon Man for the mayor’s seat. Former CAW president Ken Lewenza has also said he will be making a decision by week's end on whether he will run for mayor.
Tessier said he wants to see the person who is elected mayor to focus on the residents.
“Whoever becomes mayor needs to consider that it is not about themselves or the councillors, it’s about the city and its citizens,” said Tessier, 34.
Residents are also becoming engaged in the election and voicing their concerns about what they want to see from candidates.
“If you’re going to get something in this city done nowadays, it’s about working together,” said Mark Boscariol of Ward 9.
Boscariol, who also owns properties in Wards 3 and 4, said he wants to see the newly-elected take the “groundwork” left by the previous council and continue to improve on it.
Other Windsorites who have joined the campaign trail in the past week include Adriano Ciotoli of Windsor Eats in Ward 4 and Kieran McKenzie, legislative assistant for Windsor West MP Brian Masse, in Ward 9.
The nomination period is open until Sept. 12 and election day is Oct. 27.