Editorial: Plenty of choice for Langley City voters

Eight people have already announced intent to run in the Feb. 27 byelection

We can’t be the only ones caught off guard  by the number of candidates who have already thrown their hat into the ring for the City’s upcoming byelection.

On Feb. 27 voters in the municipality will go to the polls and elect a someone to fill the seat of Coun. Dave Hall, who resigned his seat in late November and passed away from

cancer earlier this month.

And it looks as though they’ll have plenty of choice in the matter.

As of Tuesday morning, no fewer than eight candidates had announced their intent to run, however at that point, only six of them had filed their nomination papers. The rest have until this Friday to make it official.

Once again, crime, homelessness and helping stimulate the City’s downtown business community are the main issues being singled out by the candidates.

No question, all of these present huge challenges to the municipality.  So it’s up to voters to decide who is most likely to get the job done if they are awarded the seat.

This election looks to be shaping up as a one of youthful energy versus experience, with 32-year-old political blogger Nathan Pachal taking another run at the seat he missed by a narrow, 71-vote margin in 2014.

He’s remained an active member of the City’s parks and environment committee since the last election and began campaigning on social media before nominations opened.

Meanwhile, former Langley MLA Carol Gran, who also has political experience at the municipal level, and former Township councillor Mel Kositsky, who lost his seat in 2011 when he made a run for the mayor’s chair, are also stepping into the blocks for another race.

Sharon Newbery, who finished 35 votes behind Pachal in 2014 has indicated that she’s ready to give it another shot as well.

Also in the mix so far are several newcomers to Langley’s political scene, and it’s anyone’s guess how many more names will emerge between now and Friday.

As long as each person who stands for election is a serious candidate, we say, the more the merrier.

Granted, it makes things a bit more difficult for voters because it gives them more homework to do. Our hope is the relatively large number of candidates running for a seat in the City’s first byelection will fuel voter enthusiasm on Feb. 27  rather than discourage turnout at the polls.