Fiacco steps down – will Fougere step up?
Exquisitely coiffed mayor decides 12 years is enough
After more than a decade in office, Mayor Pat Fiacco announced on Tuesday that he will not be running for re-election.
In true Fiacco fashion, he called a press conference on Valentine’s Day to make the announcement. Although he chose not to don his infamous “I Love Regina” t-shirt, he chose a suit with a red tie to mark the occasion.
The outgoing mayor paused several times during his address, at one point becoming too choked up to speak. But the message was clear: it was time to call it quits. As of 2013, Fiacco will be mayor no more.
“I believe the time has come for me to leave the mayor’s office and begin the next chapter of my life,” Fiacco said. “Since I was first elected, I have woken up every day excited to go to work. My passion for the job has never wavered, but there comes a time when you hold elected office that there is a time to move on.”
He explained that the reason he made the announcement when he did was because he wanted to give anyone who wanted run in the election enough time to plan a proper campaign. As well, he wanted to do it before the State of the City address, which is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16.
Although Fiacco said he would endorse the right candidate if that candidate ran, he did not make any predictions on whom he would support, nor did he speculate enter the mayoral race.
One possibility is that long-time city council member Michael Fougere would run for the city’s top job. Fougere, the councillor for Ward 4 in southeast Regina, is currently in his fifth term at City Hall.
But Fougere was evasive when asked if he might run in this year’s civic election, which takes place on Oct. 24.
“Today is a day about Pat Fiacco,” he said. “He has been a great mayor, he has done great leadership over the last 12 years. This is his day and I am here to support him. He has been a great friend of mine, a great colleague of mine over the last 12 years.
“There will be time to discuss that afterwards; today is Pat’s day.”