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Election to offer more than 2008

The last municipal election was, to put it bluntly, lame.

The last municipal election was, to put it bluntly, lame. The race for the mayor's chair had only two legitimate candidates, the council contest attracted just 10 hopefuls and there was so little interest in the school board the seven people who put their names forward to run were all acclaimed.

For a citizenry that prides itself on letting its voice be heard, the lowest candidate total in the last two decades made it a forgettable election. With exactly a month to go until this year's civic vote, it appears we've returned to a more normal state of affairs with the races for all three offices promising to be far more contentious.

Mayor Lois Jackson not only faces another challenge from Krista Engelland, but must also fend off 2008 council polltopper Heather King and John Meech, who has made a name for himself as an advocate for responsible Southlands development.

The four-term incumbent has fabulous support in North Delta to thank for her previous victories, so if that's still solid, she'll be tough to beat. If, however, voters think it's time for a change after a dozen years, they have choices, although it would mean opting for a Tsawwassenite.

The mayor's race could also go a long way to determining how the council vote shakes out. If voters return Jackson, it's almost a certainty her DIVA running mates also get back in, allowing the slate to retain its control of civic government.

Should she not get a fifth term, her coat tails won't be nearly as long, leading to a possible shake up.

Veteran Bruce McDonald is a slam dunk, while 2010 by-election runner-up Sylvia Bishop and former councillor Jeannie Kanakos have to be considered frontrunners to break into the top six.

Interest in the race for school board seats is night-and-day compared to three years earlier with a whopping 20 vying to become trustees. Six of the seven incumbents are running again, which should give them a leg up, but I think this race is far more wide open given the lack of an election last time around as well as the school closures and other budget cuts that ensued.

Former teachers' association president Val Windsor and former parents advisory council chair Donna Burke have good name recognition, but there are a host of others that are also worthy of voter consideration.

If there's one certainty in this election, it's that the results won't be a foregone conclusion. That in itself ensures this vote will top its predecessor.

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