A race is on for the centre chair after Mayor Dianne Watts said she wouldn't run for mayor this fall.

Down to Hayne and Hepner for Surrey First mayor

Coun. Linda Hepner now has the support of at least half of those voting in the coming weeks for a Surrey First mayoral candidate.

And then there were two.

The race for who will become the mayoral candidate for Surrey First is now down to two candidates.

The job for Surrey’s mayor is opening this fall, as Mayor Dianne Watts has said she has no plans to run for the centre chair this time.

Six elected members of Surrey First – Watts’ creation of a “coalition of independents” – will decide who the group’s next mayor will be.

Initially, the three in the race were Couns. Tom Gill, Linda Hepner, and Bruce Hayne.

However,  Gill told The Leader Monday he has decided not to pursue the centre chair this election, saying he does not want to take any more time away from his young family.

He also said he’ll be backing Hepner.

Hayne said he is still considering running for mayor.

“I’ve put my hat into that ring,” Hayne said Monday. “I expect we will know in a week to 10 days.

“Certainly if the group asked me to step forward, I would,” Hayne said. “If the group ends up backing Linda (Hepner), or someone else, I’ll support them and we’ll just move forward.”

Hepner has the momentum at this time.

Out of the six Surrey First members who will be voting on it, Hepner has the support of Couns. Mary Martin and Gill.

If Hayne can secure the support of Couns. Judy Villeneuve and Barbara Steele, Watts may have to break the tie vote.

Coun. Barinder Rasode has already told The Leader she is running for mayor. She will be facing off against the Surrey First victor.

Surrey realtor and businessman Vikram Bajwa has already publicly declared his intention to run.

Hepner said the group will make the results of the Surrey First vote public in a couple of weeks.

The civic election is scheduled for Nov. 15, this year.


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