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HomeBusinessCrowded, experienced field in the race for the Surrey mayoralty

Crowded, experienced field in the race for the Surrey mayoralty

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Bob Mackin

The 2022 mayoral contest in Surrey appears to be unique in British Columbia local government history. Never have this many high-profile, veteran politicians with colourful histories announced a run to be mayor in the same big city, in the same year. 

Two of them are backbenchers in senior governing parties and one is a former White Rock mayor aiming to become the first to win Surrey. 

Is this it? Will another join the crowded field? Will one or more have second thoughts?

Clockwise, from upper left: Sims, McCallum, Hogg, Dhaliwal and Locke.

Stay tuned, official registration runs Aug. 30 to Sept. 9. 

Sukh Dhaliwal, 60

Party: United Surrey 

Experience: Liberal MP for Newton-North Delta (2006-2011) and Surrey-Newton (2015-present) 

Earlier this year, Dhaliwal was part of BC Liberal leader Kevin Falcon’s campaign team.

The engineer/land surveyor’s bid for a BC Liberal seat was derailed by a tax evasion case. He pleaded guilty to three charges in 2014 and was fined $3,000. Trivia: Defeated NDP MP Jinny Sims in the 2015 federal election after she beat him in 2011. 

Gordon Hogg, 75 

Party: Surrey First 

Experience: Mayor of White Rock (1984-1993), BC Liberal MLA for Surrey-White Rock (1997-2017), Liberal MP for South Surrey-White Rock (2017-2019)

In the 2017 federal by-election, Hogg succeeded former Surrey Mayor and Conservative MP Dianne Watts, after she quit to seek the BC Liberal leadership. Now he’s leading the civic party that Watts founded. 

Trivia: Was the oldest graduate in Simon Fraser University’s class of 2016 with a PhD in public policy. Unofficially, the only MLA to rap during his swan song speech in the B.C. Legislature.

Brenda Locke, 67  

Party: Surrey Connect

Experience: BC Liberal MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers (2001-2005), Surrey city councillor since 2018.

Was elected on McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition slate in 2018, but split in mid-2019 over concerns about McCallum’s handling of the transition from the RCMP to a municipal police force.

Trivia: Prior to her election as an MLA, Locke was the executive director of the B.C. Liquor Licensee and Retailers Association. During her last two years in office, she was the Minister of State for Mental Health and Addiction.

Doug McCallum, 78 

Party: Safe Surrey Coalition 

Experience: The incumbent was a Surrey Electors Team city councillor (1993-1996) before becoming mayor (1996-2005 and 2018-present)

The Crescent Beach resident’s first period as mayor came to an end when Dianne Watts rose to power in 2005. Much of the last 10 months has been spent dealing with “toe-gate.” He accused a pro-RCMP referendum campaigner of running over his foot last September in a Save-On-Foods parking lot, but faces trial beginning Oct. 31 for public mischief.

Trivia: His defence lawyer is Richard Peck, the special prosecutor who investigated challenger Jinny Sims.

Jinny Sims, 70

Party: Surrey Forward 

Experience: NDP MP for Newton-North Delta (2011-2015), NDP MLA for Surrey-Panorama (2017-present)

The former high school teacher was the B.C. Teachers Federation president from 2004-2007. She stepped down as NDP Minister of Citizens Services in 2019 after writing visa endorsement letters for supporters and hiding email. Peck recommended no charges, but Sims did not return to cabinet. 

Trivia: Defeated Dhaliwal in the 2011 federal election, but lost to him in 2015.

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