The Squamish mayoral race is down to three after Auli Parviainen withdrew herself from consideration in a show of support for current Councillor Patricia Heintzman, who confirmed her candidacy for mayor on Thursday, Oct. 9. Parviainen will now vie for a spot on council instead.
In a joint statement released Friday, Oct. 10, Parviainen explained the rationale behind her decision.
“I had intended to run for council but stepped up to seek the mayor’s chair to provide a voice for many in the community that I felt was not being represented. My goals of good governance with measurable and accountable results and restoring meaningful public say in significant projects, along with working collaboratively, are values that Patricia and I share,” she wrote.
“I feel, with Patricia’s recent decision to run for mayor, my running for council removes the ‘either or’ and means an opportunity for the recognition of what is best for Squamish to start today. Patty and I have diverse skills, experiences and values. We both care about working towards the betterment of Squamish and I believe can do so better collectively.”
Heintzman, the current board chair and District of Squamish representative for the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, echoed Parviainen’s remarks in her statement, applauding her “difficult decision” to step away from the mayoral race ahead of next month’s election.
“(Parviainen) has demonstrated courage and selflessness in coming to this shared decision and I sincerely thank her for that. I also thank her for her passion for community and in her power to be a catalyst for positive change,” she wrote.
“I sincerely respect her willingness to step up and I am pleased she has decided to run for council. She will bring a thoughtful and thought-provoking voice to the team of people running to represent the people of Squamish. And I know she will push me to be the best mayor I could possibly be should I be elected.”
This is the first time Heintzman has thrown her hat into the ring for Squamish mayor, while Parviainen, a business consultant and active member of the environmental stewardship group, My Sea to Sky, ran for mayor in 2011.
The two other candidates for mayor are incumbent Rob Kirkham and Ron Nahm, who also ran three years ago before withdrawing just days before the election.
Including Parviainen, a total of 20 candidates will seek a spot at the council table when Squamish heads to the polls on Nov. 15. The nomination deadline closed Friday.
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