Voice New Westminster names its candidates

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Voice New Westminster has announced a slate of four candidates for city council and four for board of education, many of them familiar names in the community.

The city council slate includes two who ran for Voice in 2008. Arts Council of New Westminster past president Susan Wandell received 3,352 votes three years ago to finish eighth, two spots out of a council seat.

Queensborough Residents Association president Gavin Palmer, who recently stepped down when he decided to run for council, came in 12th in 2008.

New to the civic political arena will be John Ashdown, president of the West End Business Association, and academic David Noshad.

In 2008, two Voice candidates, Betty McIntosh and Bob Osterman, were successful in obtaining council seats. However, both have decided to run as independent incumbents this year.

Voice's school trustee slate includes three incumbents, former city councillor Casey Cook, Jim Goring and Lisa Graham, who will be seeking her fourth term. The newcomer is MaryAnn Mortensen, who recently stepped down as head of the New Westminster district parent advisory council when she announced her intention to run for board of education.

In the past year while DPAC vice-presedent, Mortensen lobbied the board for longer lunch breaks at district elementary schools.

Voice will not be backing any mayoralty candidate.

"The candidates Voice is supporting have proven they can put the community first in all decision-making processes," said Voice president Neil Powell in a news release. "They've shown they can listen with an open, unbiased mind and have demonstrated a strong commitment to making New Westminster a better place for all of its citizens."

Powell said although Voice planned to endorse just four candidates for council and school board, it may give its support to others before the Nov. 19 election.

"We're very pleased with the interest Voice has received and we can't rule out further endorsements given the calibre of some of the people who've approached us," said Powell.

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