Why is Brian McHattie running so hard?

McHattie for Mayor802By Andrew Dreschel

For everyone except Brian McHattie, the Hamilton mayor’s race is still very much in the phoney war stage.

Mayor Bob Bratina has broadly hinted he intends to seek re-election, but has yet to register and rumours are growing he may step aside.

Former mayor Fred Eisenberger says he intends to run but also hasn’t formally signed on as a candidate.

And of the four who are registered — McHattie, Michael Baldasaro, Crystal Lavigne, Don Ross — only McHattie appears to be actively getting his messages out.

The Ward 1 councillor came out of the blocks fast and fierce in January with a splashy launch at LIUNA Station, staking out campaign themes he intends to build his platform around.

Last week, he launched an online campaign survey (on his website) to solicit the opinions of Hamiltonians, which he’ll use to help flesh out that platform.

In the coming weeks, he plans to start canvassing Mountain neighbourhoods, knocking on doors.

Meantime, McHattie has assembled the nucleus of a campaign team. He’s got an active group of 10 toiling on his behalf, and he’s formed four subcommittees to work on policy and strategy, communications, fundraising, and maintaining his election website.

His campaign chair is Todd White, probably best known as vice-chair and trustee of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. The communications chair is Graham Crawford, the well-known heritage and social media activist.

Why is McHattie running so hard? After all, voting day is not until Oct. 27 and serious campaigning doesn’t usually begin until September.

Read the rest of the column at thespec.com

Andrew Dreschel’s commentary appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. adreschel@thespec.com 905-526-3495

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Photo: McHattie and his wife, Dr. Elaine Blau at his announcement for mayor on Jan. 28, 2014 / Cathie Coward, Hamilton Spectator

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