The countdown is on.
The municipal election is less than two months away and the race is gaining momentum.
By deadline, 14 political hopefuls had contacted The NOW to announce their candidacy in the Nov. 19 election.
As previously featured in The NOW, Coquitlam council contenders include Vincent Wu, Terry O'Neill and Fred Soofi. Barrie Lynch also announced that he will run for mayor.
In Port Moody, Rosemary Small will run for council and Robert Simons for mayor.
And in Port Coquitlam, Mayor Greg Moore will run again for the city's top spot.
Seven more candidates have contacted The NOW to confirm their election plans by deadline.
Craig Hodge, a retired photojournalist, formally announced that he will seek a spot on Coquitlam council.
"I plan to draw on the first-hand knowledge that I gained as a longtime resident, a community volunteer and as a journalist," Hodge said.
"I was the eyes and ears for the residents of the community for the past 36 years and I believe I can be a strong voice for them on council."
Andy Shen, a former federal government employee and civil issues advocate, also announced his decision to run for Coquitlam council.
In 2008, the Archbishop Carney grad ran in his first election and was the youngest candidate in the municipal race. He earned more than 1,600 votes.
"People in my generation will soon be looking for stable careers and a place of permanent residence," Shen said in a press release.
"Coquitlam needs to be able to retain our youth by ensuring that we have a breadth of well-paying jobs and a variety of housing options."
As well, Randy Delmonico is joining the race for Coquitlam council.
Delmonico has lived in Coquitlam since 1988. He is currently a captain with the Burnaby Fire Department. He is a former president and treasurer of the Burnaby Firefighters Association and the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society. He was also a director of the B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund and a director and vice-chair of the Burnaby Hospital Foundation.
For Delmonico, top Coquitlam issues include construction of the Evergreen Line and the future of Riverview Hospital and the Colony Farm lands.
Meanwhile in Port Moody, Kevin Hagglund will add his name to the ballot for city councillor.
Hagglund noted several challenges that need to be addressed within a limited budget, such as traffic congestion, maintenance and improvement of services, and direction of police and fire departments.
"Our voice matters in the Tri-City and Metro Vancouver areas," Hagglund said.
"Issues like transit, specifically the Evergreen Line, traffic congestion and air quality can only be addressed as a region. We need to have a strong voice at the table."
Shane Kennedy also added his name to the Port Moody council race.
Kennedy, who ran for mayor in 2008, believes the city should create a program to encourage companies to relocate to Port Moody to broaden the city's tax base and take the pressure off homeowners.
"Roughly eight per cent of our budget comes from residential housing development fees and levies, and in order to make room for more and more highrises, council has chased both light industry and retailers out of our community," Kennedy said.
"This is why residents are having to shoulder more and more of the tax burden through increased property taxes and user fees."
Nearby in Port Coquitlam, Michael Thomas will seek a position on city council. Thomas is a small business owner who volunteers with numerous boards and committees.
"Port Coquitlam is a vibrant community with a small town charm. We're a community where people come together and work for the common good and I can see every corner of town," Thomas said.
"It's my love for this city that pushes me to work and volunteer for our community and it's my love for my family [that] drives me to see that Port Coquitlam is the best that it can be."
Lih-Ming Tam will also compete for a seat on Port Coquitlam council.
Tam is a long-time resident who has been involved in schools, athletic clubs and the PoCo BIA.
Tam plans to focus on initiatives to improve access to childcare, senior facilities and employment.
"I want to bring a new aspect to build upon the solid foundation of our community," Tam said. "I want to focus on protecting existing jobs while encouraging the local creation of new ones."
Candidate nominations will be accepted at city and village halls from Oct. 4 to 14.
Other candidates who would like publicity in The NOW are welcome to submit a brief bio along with a headshot photo that is a minimum of 1 MB. Information should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.