Two ex-mayors and one new candidate face off
Two ex-mayors and one mayoralty hopeful came out Wednesday with the first formal hits of the October campaign.
Former Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger held a news conference in campaign for CEO of Steeltown to reveal a high-profile endorsement.
Eisenberger tweeted he is “thrilled to accept the endorsement of my long-time friend and occasional rival,” former mayor Larry Di Ianni.
In a candidate’s commentary earlier this month, Eisenberger wrote that he isn’t running for mayor “just to be the Comeback Kid . . . I love my city and I want to see Hamilton and its people prosper.”
The 61-year-old was mayor from 2006 to 2010, when Bob Bratina defeated him. Bratina is not running in the October municipal election.
Within a few hours, councillor Brian McHattie – also in the mayor’s race – issued a statement saying he’s the best choice for “the new Hamilton.”
McHattie said he knows both Di Ianni and Eisenberger well, “but I think it’s time for a newer, fresher approach to leadership in the Mayor’s chair . . . instead of revisiting the past.”
“We’ve been missing a boldness of thinking and boldness of action for too many years,” McHattie said. “I plan to change that situation.”
Also in the mayor’s race are perennial candidate Michael Baldasaro, taxi driver Ejaz Butt, councillor Brad Clark, rookie politician Crystal Lavigne and Nick Iamonico, who has previously run for mayor in North York and Brockville.
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Photo: Fred Eisenberger pictured leaving city hall earlier this month with wife Diane and daughter Alida after registering to run for mayor. / Hamilton Spectator file photo