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Candidates get a jump start on municipal election campaign

By: Darren MacDonald - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Jan 02, 2014 - 2:28 PM |
Hannu Piirronen signs up to run in Ward 10 on Thursday, at the city clerk's office at Tom Davies Square. Thursday was the first day candidates could sign up to run in the Oct. 27 municipal election.

Hannu Piirronen signs up to run in Ward 10 on Thursday, at the city clerk's office at Tom Davies Square. Thursday was the first day candidates could sign up to run in the Oct. 27 municipal election.

Five sign up to run for city council for Oct. 27 vote

It's not quite a stampede, but candidates are already signing up to run in the October municipal election. Six candidates filed their nomination papers Thursday, the first day they could officially do so, and at least one other plans to file next week.

Two candidates have declared their intention to run in Ward 10, where incumbent councillor Frances Caldarelli won by just five votes in 2010. Sudbury lawyer Hannu Piirronen announced earlier this week his intention to run in the South End ward, and filed his papers Thursday morning.

He'll be joined by Steve Ripley, who finished fourth in 2010. Ripley, a parts and service manager at a local boat dealership, says his focus would be on preserving heritage sites in the city, as well as boosting downtown and protecting Ramsey Lake. More details can be found at his website,

Neither Caldarelli or any of the sitting councillors filed their nomination papers Thursday.

A member of Cambrian College's student executive filed his papers to run in Ward 11. Mike Bleskie, vice-president of Cambrian Students’ Administrative Council, is taking his first plunge into municipal politics. The Minnow Lake resident says he will be running “on a platform driven by open source accountability, which will increase the role of civic engagement through technology.

“In addition, Mike has made smart community development a priority, with many debates over real estate development and community policing on the minds of many living in Minnow Lake and New Sudbury,” according to Bleskie's website,

Ward 11 is currently held by veteran Terry Kett, a former mayor of Walden who won the New Sudbury ward in 2010 by 461 votes.

While he's not filing his papers until next week, local businessman Paul Stopciati is taking another run at winning Ward 9, another South End ward that also includes areas such as Coniston and Wanup. And public school board trustee Robert Kirwan filed papers to run in Ward 5, currently held by Ron Dupuis.

Richard L. Paquette also filed his papers Thursday to run in Ward 4, where he lost by 1,100 votes to incumbent Evelyn Dutrisac in 2010. A married father of two, Paquette manages Wenrick Kennels in Azilda, which is owned by his parents, Wendy and Richard Paquette. More information can be found at his website,

Rounding out Tuesday's announcements is Matt Belanger, who is running in Ward 3, a Chelmsford-Onaping area ward currently held by Claude Berthiaume.

While there are rumours about who'll be running for mayor, no one declared their intentions on Thursday. Mike Whitehouse, a spokesperson for Mayor Marianne Matichuk, said she was in no hurry to declare whether she'll run for re-election.

“There's lots of time,” Whitehouse said.

According to a release from the city, the cutoff date to file nomination papers to run for mayor, city council and school board trustees is Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. It costs $200 to run for mayor, and $100 for all other seats.

A proper nomination form must completed, containing the candidate's original signature. The term of office is from Dec. 1, 2014, to Nov. 30, 2018. Members of the public can track who is running on the city's election twitter feed, @sudelec2014.

Darren MacDonald

Darren MacDonald

Staff Writer


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