Mayoral candidates pickup high profile endorsements ahead of election day

The leading candidates for mayor of Ottawa are picking up some high-profile endorsements heading into the final week of the municipal election campaign.

Catherine McKenney received an endorsement this weekend from former federal cabinet minister Catherine McKenna and former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, while Mark Sutcliffe released a list of former and current elected officials supporting his campaign for mayor, including former Ottawa mayors.

The endorsement comes as public opinions show a tight race for mayor of Ottawa between Sutcliffe and McKenney, with Bob Chiarelli running in third.

Municipal affairs commentator Jon Willing tells CTV News Ottawa high-profile endorsements can provide a spark in a tight race.

“I honestly think it can swing both ways. Current and former politicians evoke such strong sentiments for voters,” Willing said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa. “The mayoral campaigns would really need to weigh how valuable, or potentially damaging, an endorsement is before publicizing it.”

On Sunday, Carney issued a statement on Twitter saying he was “proud to support’ McKenney for mayor.

“I want to salute all those candidates who put themselves forward to be mayor, but for me one candidate stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that’s Catherine McKenney,” Carney said.

“Catherine is a proven leader. Catherine has experience, long experience, in city council.”

McKenna, the former Ottawa Centre MP and cabinet minister, endorsed McKenney for mayor in a video on Saturday, saying the “there’s a clear choice, and that’s Catherine McKenney for mayor.”

“We need someone who is going to stand up for the city,” McKenna said.

“We saw how tough it was when Ottawa was occupied. Catherine McKenney was on the streets, standing up for vulnerable residents, standing up for small businesses, one of the few officials who was out there, and we need someone who is tough.”

Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden has been canvassing for McKenney during the campaign.

Sutcliffe released a list of more than 25 former and current elected officials and former candidates who have thrown their support behind his campaign for mayor.

The list includes former Gloucester Mayor Claudette Cain, former Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton and Nepean Reeve Andy Haydon, former Ottawa mayors Jim Durrell and Jackie Holzman, former federal cabinet ministers John Baird and Don Boudria, and several MPs, MPPs and former and current Ottawa councillors.

“As these leaders all agree, I am ready to put my 30 years of community leadership experience to get everyone working together to solve problems and build a better city for the people of Ottawa,” Sutcliffe said in a statement.

Ottawa Centre MP Yasir Naqvi previously said he was voting for Sutcliffe. 

Former Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien has endorsed Bob Chiarelli.

“Bob C. just won my support and my vote,” O’Brien said on Twitter after the CTV News Ottawa mayoral debate. “He’s absolutely right – nobody can run city hall without experience.”

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