count. Diane Deans has ended her bid to become Ottawa’s next mayor and will no longer run for city council in the Gloucester-Southgate borough.
In a statement Thursday, the longtime councilor said she was putting her career aside for “personal and professional reasons,” including that she felt she could not commit to being more than a one-time mayor.
“After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the next mayor will have to commit to doing the job for eight years (two terms),” Deans wrote.
“Four years won’t be enough to get this city on a better path.”
There are currently seven candidates that have filed documents to replace Jim Watson as Ottawa’s next mayor, including Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney and former Mayor Bob Chiarelli.
Two others have put forward their names to represent the Gloucester-Southgate neighborhood.
28 years as a municipal councilor
Deans has spent nearly three decades around the council table, having been first elected in 1994.
She has held a number of high profile roles during that time, including most recently as chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board — a position she was ousted from amid a controversial, vitriolic council shakeup that occurred during this winter’s Freedom Convoy protests.
In her statement, Deans said divisions in the city council have “exacerbated” problems such as rising municipal debt, a shortage of affordable housing and a troubled transit system.
It is with mixed feelings that I have today announced that I will not be running for mayor in the upcoming municipal elections. Thanks to all who have encouraged me. I am grateful for your unwavering support. pic.twitter.com/OVaBEPZ9fM
“Ottawa residents need their counsel to come together and put the needs of the community first,” she wrote. “The next mayor must bridge all of Ottawa’s unique communities — rural, suburban and urban — and strike a balance that can end the divisions we see today.”
Deans also battled ovarian cancer in 2019 and returned to the council table a year later. That experience prompted her to run for mayor, Deans said when she announced her bid last December.
Ottawans will go to the polls on October 24 to choose their next city council.