Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson will not seek re-election

·3 min read

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson will not seek re-election next fall.

Iveson made the announcement in a statement Monday morning. The statement was posted to Twitter and to Iveson's personal website.

The 41-year-old said it has been the honour of his life to serve as mayor but it's time to step aside.

"It is an incredible honour, and a humbling duty, to serve as your mayor and I am thankful for every day I get to serve our community," Iveson said in the statement.

"I had only ever hoped to serve two terms as mayor and, after lots of reflection, today I am announcing that I have decided not to seek re-election next fall."

Iveson served two terms as a city councillor before he was elected as mayor in the 2013, replacing Stephen Mandel who had served three terms. Iveson won the 2013 municipal election with 62 per cent of the vote.

He was re-elected in 2017, garnering 72.5 per cent of the vote with a campaign that focused on embracing new technology, urban densification, transit improvements and affordable housing.

The next municipal election will be held Oct. 18, 2021.

Born in St. Albert, Iveson studied political science at the University of Alberta, then served as president of Canadian University Press in Toronto before seeking public office.

With a year remaining in his second term, Iveson said his "singular focus" will be to protect and help Edmontonians impacted by COVID-19 and the economic challenges faced by the city.

Iveson said much work remains at city hall in the year ahead, including a delivering a "tough budget," tackling homelessness and rooting out systemic racism in city institutions.

"There is much to do, and not everything will be resolved by the election. In fact, part of the beauty of cities is that they are perpetually unfinished," Iveson wrote.

"This complex, ever-evolving work demands thoughtful, compassionate and constructive civic leadership — which is why next fall's election will be pivotal and why I feel it's important to give people who may be considering a run, time and notice to make their plans."

In his statement, Iveson thanked his wife, Sarah Chan, his two young children and his extended family for their support during his time in a "very demanding public role.

"It has been the honour and privilege of my life to serve the people of this wonderful and resilient city."

NDP Leader Rachel Notley said Iveson has proven himself to be a hard-working mayor.

"I really want to offer Mayor Iveson my best wishes and certainly want to thank him as an Edmontonian for his years of public service to this city," Notley said Monday.

"You're front and centre and you're the go-to person for everything that people complain about, and it's not an easy job and he's worked very, very hard for the people of this city for many years.

"I wish him all the very best in his next chapter."