Sources tell theBreaker that Linda Hepner, the Mayor of Surrey, will not run for re-election this fall.
Her party, Surrey First, is holding its annual general meeting tonight and it is expected that Coun. Tom Gill will become candidate for mayor in the Oct. 20 election. A news conference has been scheduled for April 11 in the morning at Surrey city hall.
Hepner, 69, is the 36th mayor of Surrey, who succeeded her mentor, Dianne Watts, in 2014. The New Brunswick native is a former city hall bureaucrat who ran for a seat on city council under Doug McCallum’s Surrey Electors Team in 2005 and later defected to Surrey First.
Hepner’s spokesman, Oliver Lum, neither confirmed nor denied an announcement was forthcoming. He also would not comment when theBreaker asked if Hepner was going to run this fall. There was no answer on Hepner’s home phone number and she has not immediately replied to the message.
Hepner will join Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson, North Vancouver City’s Darrell Mussatto, North Vancouver District’s Richard Walton, Port Coquitlam’s Greg Moore and Delta’s Lois Jackson as mayors who will not stand for re-election. That means 1.45 million residents of the Lower Mainland are governed by lame duck mayors until Oct. 20, when they voters will go to the polls to elect new mayors.
UPDATE: Surrey city hall made it official at 7 p.m., with a statement from Hepner. She will be holding a news conference on April 11 at 9:30 a.m. at Surrey city hall.
“For 33 years the City of Surrey has been a chosen priority in my life and I have been honoured to serve the people of this City. Now after this four year term as Mayor, nine years as Councillor and more than two decades as a senior staff member, I have decided not to seek re-election at the end of this Council term… I have thought long and hard about this and it has not been an easy decision to make, but I sincerely believe that now is the right time to dedicate more time to my family and friends… Finally, I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people of Surrey for their ongoing trust and support. It has been an honour and privilege to serve you and the City of Surrey.”
More to come…