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Bing bows out of mayor's race in Pitt Meadows
Coun. Doug Bing will not be competing for the mayor’s seat in Pitt Meadows.
Bing announced his decision to step aside Friday, leaving two councillors – Deb Walters and John Becker – to duke it out in November.
“After a relaxing vacation that gave me some time to think, I have reached the conclusion that losing three experienced Pitt Meadows council members in the upcoming election is not in the best interest of the community,” said Bing, who is a dentist in Pitt Meadows.
“At this time, I feel I can make a more meaningful contribution to the community by running for re-election to council rather than pursuing the mayor’s chair.”
In April, both Bing and Walters announced they’d be vying for the mayor’s seat after current Mayor Don MacLean revealed he wouldn’t be seeking re-election.
MacLean has been mayor for 12 years.
Both two-term councillors, Bing drew the most votes in the 2008 civic election with 1,972, while Walters was a close second with 1,937.
Becker, a three-term councillor and lawyer, stepped into the race in July. Bing is now throwing his support behind Becker, who pulled in 1,693 votes in 2008.
“I know both remaining declared candidates to be terrific people, and I wish them the best of luck,” said Bing.
“Ultimately, politics is about making choices, and I will be endorsing John Becker as the best choice for mayor of Pitt Meadows. I believe Coun. Becker has demonstrated exceptional communication and leadership skills and he would be an outstanding spokesman for the community.”
Bing spoke to Walters before he announced he was withdrawing from the mayor’s race.
“You’ve got to go where you feel comfortable. I’m OK with that,” said Walters.
Walters’ bid for the mayor’s chair is being back by the two other women on city council - Gwen O’Connell and Tracy Miyashita.
Walters’ noted that Becker was also a patient of Bing.
“I am not shocked or surprised that he would support John,” she added, distinguishing herself from Becker by stressing she won’t be distracted by running a business.
“I am willing to do it full-time, I have no conflict whatsoever,” Walters said. “I can be there when the public needs me to be there.”
Becker meanwhile was surprised with Bing’s endorsement but also “flattered” and “pleased.”
He noted Bing didn’t have to support him.
Becker said being a local government politician is not a career.
“I have 30 years of business and community involvement and it’s simply a question of reallocating my time to the business of city hall.”
MacLean, who has been on city council for 21 years, isn’t endorsing either candidate but is proud of Bing for wanting to make sure there is continuity and experience on the next city council.
“Knowing Doug, he thought long and hard about it and felt that he could serve council best by seeking re-election as a councillor,”said MacLean. “It’s very self-less and that’s the type of thinking we need in Pitt Meadows.”
The City of Pitt Meadows will host two election workshops for residents interested in seeking a seat on council or the school board. Candidate nomination packages will be available at city hall from Aug. 26 onwards or online at pittmeadows.bc.ca
The workshops will be held Wednesday, Sept. 7 and Thursday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at city hall.