Dauphin has first mayoral race in 12 years, along with 17 candidates running for council seats

Dauphin residents will have a chance this month to vote for a new mayor for the first time since 2010, after the last two mayoral races in the western Manitoba city went uncontested — and there’s also no shortage of candidates in this year’s race to become a city councillor.

Two candidates are running for mayor in the Oct. 26 election, and 17 are vying for six city council seats.

Allen Dowhan was acclaimed as Dauphin’s mayor in 2018, but died last fall. Dowhan himself became mayor after the unexpected death in 2017 of Eric Irwin, who was first elected as mayor in 2010. Irwin was acclaimed in the 2014 election.

After Dowhan’s death, Dauphin city council decided against holding a byelection as the civic election was one year away. Deputy mayor Christian Laughland took on the role of acting mayor, and is running this month for a council seat.

Mayoral candidates

It was Dowhan’s death that inspired mayoral candidate David Bosiak to enter the race to become mayor in the city of over 8,000 people.

He was “sitting around the hockey dressing room [with friends] just discussing, ‘Well, what do we do now as a community? Who is a person that could possibly step up and fulfil this role?'” Bosiak said.

“Over a period of time when we were sort of just casually talking about who might be a good candidate, it kept coming back to, ‘I might have those skills. I have those experiences. I have those contacts.'”

Born and raised in Dauphin, Bosiak served as the city’s recreation director in the 1990s, while also running his own gym in town.

He later went on to work for the provincial government as the regional manager of recreation and tourism for the Parkland region.

Most recently, Bosiak has served as chair of Dauphin’s economic development committee.

If elected, he said his priorities as mayor will be strengthening ties with the surrounding rural municipality of Dauphin, working closely with other levels of government and building momentum for the city’s 2021-24 strategic plan.

Bosiak’s opponent, Kerri Riehl, is no stranger to Dauphin’s municipal politics either. In 2018, she was elected to city council after a career in law enforcement and security and became deputy mayor.

“I have experience and I understand the [city hall] process. I know we have 17 new people running [for council], and I believe that the mayor should understand the process and be able to help others that are coming on board,” Riehl said.

When her mother became ill, Riehl resigned from council last fall to spend time with family. 

Before her political career, Riehl served with the RCMP for 23 years, and worked security at two international diamond mines in Yellowknife. That work experience taught her critical thinking skills, she says.

“I really see the big picture. I believe I can represent all people equally. [Working at] the international diamond mines gave me a broader perspective of what we can achieve as a small community,” Riehl said.

If elected, she plans to hold regular open office hours so she can connect with residents and give them the opportunity to be involved with decision making processes.

17 council candidates

The 17 people running for Dauphin’s six council seats are:

  • Jason Alf.
  • Kathy Bellemare.
  • Randy Daley.
  • Patti A. Eilers.
  • Joe Houston.
  • Rodney P. Juba.
  • Christian Laughland.
  • Tamara Michèle.
  • Ted Rea.
  • Sharon Riehl.
  • Bev Sarkonak.
  • Devin Shtykalo.
  • Steve Sobering.
  • Ken Tarrant.
  • Carter Taylor-Luke.
  • Gerry Wieler.
  • Michael Winter.

Advanced polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, at Dauphin City Hall.

Election day polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at the Dauphin Friendship Centre.

More election information is available from the City of Dauphin’s website.

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