Residents of the town of Clark's Harbour will vote for a mayor for the first time in 26 years this month.
"I've never had a vote cast in my name for mayor," said Leigh Stoddart. "I've just been fortunate, I guess."
Stoddart won by acclamation in 1994 and has been acclaimed through seven elections since.
"The second time I thought [it was] just a fluke," said Stoddart.
By the third time he wondered whether nobody wanted to challenge him, or nobody else wanted the job. "But I just kept going," he said.
Stoddart is not reoffering.
Clay Kenny, a fisherman who used to be a councillor in the 1980s, is one of three in the race to replace him.
Laura Ross moved to the community more than four years ago and operates a personal training business. Rex Stoddard is a contractor who has been on council for the past 12 years.
5 towns, 1 municipality
There are five other towns and one municipality that will also have a new mayor.
Cory Nickerson has been acclaimed in the town of Lockeport.
Rachel Bailey is not reoffering in the town of Lunenburg. She was a councillor for four years before becoming mayor and serving two terms.
"I think change is good," said Bailey. "It's important to have good, solid succession. I've given my best, but it's time for others to come in and take on a leadership role."
Bailey said just "functioning efficiently" in a pandemic will be the new mayor's first challenge. She said she will miss being current on local matters, but won't miss the stress.
Two current town councillors are trying to replace Bailey.
John McGee has been on council for 12 years and has also served as deputy mayor. Matt Risser is a first-time councillor who helped chair Project Lunenburg, a long-term community plan.
Mayor Ralph Hadley is not on the ballot in the town of Mulgrave.
Ron Chisholm, who's been on council since 2013, and Lorne MacDonald, a former councillor who also served one term as mayor, are in the running. MacDonald lost to Hadley in 2016.
Patricia Stewart is stepping down as Oxford's mayor. Greg Henley, a local businessman, and Arnold (Pockets) MacDonald are in the race to replace her.
In the town of Wolfville, Mayor Jeff Cantwell has decided not to reoffer. Carl Oldham and Wendy Donovan are vying for the job.
Cumberland County is getting rid of its warden system. Voters will elect a mayor there for the first time.
Jason Blanch, a former town councillor in Amherst who has moved to Upper Nappan, is running for the mayor's job, as is Murray Scott, a former MLA and Speaker of the Legislature.
Cumberland is also reducing the size of council from 14 to eight districts. Only half of those districts have incumbents who are reoffering.
Election day is Oct. 17.
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