BEPPLE – Mayor’s race already shaping up as an interesting one

AND THEN there were four.

With current councillor Dieter Dudy throwing his hat in the ring for the mayor’s race in the upcoming October municipal election, Kamloops now has four candidates for the top civic job.

Along with Dudy, Coun. Arjun Singh declared previously, as have business owners Ray Dhaliwal and Reid Hamer-Jackson.  No matter who else may come forward, it already proves to be an interesting race.

While both Dudy and Singh are current Kamloops councillors, there are differences between the two, especially in terms of style and approach.

At Dudy’s very first press conference, he came out contrasting himself to Singh.  Asked if he could beat Singh, Kamloops This Week reports Dudy said, “I just believe that I’m more balanced in my approach and that I have broader appeal, so I feel I can get the masses on my side.”

Singh, responding to Dudy’s announcement of running for mayor, posted on Twitter “Dieter has huge integrity and goodness.  We agree on a lot and also have important differences in approach and ideas.  Good idea exchange ahead!”

Whereas Dudy is blunt and direct, even in the heat of an election Singh presents a conciliatory approach.  Two very different styles.

Another difference is the teams that they have assembled.

If Kamloops has an old-boys’ club, then Dudy has it as his campaign team.  Present at his campaign launch were former MLA and mayor Terry Lake, past-president of the North Shore Business Improvement Association Bryce Herman, and his campaign manager Henry Pejril, who has previously managed campaigns for Lake, Peter Milobar, and Ken Christian.

Singh’s diverse campaign team draws from various parts of the community.  On his team are the likes of Jo Berry, founder of Kamloops’ Boogie the Bridge, Peter Cameron-Inglis, of Mastermind Studios, and Tricia Sellmer, a renowned local artist.

What both Dudy and Singh have in common is the ability to connect with people one-on-one.  Dudy doesn’t hesitate to lend an ear to people while manning his farmer’s market stall on a Wednesday or Saturday.  Singh has a rolodex memory for remembering special events in people’s lives and continually reaches out to check in to see how individuals are doing.

Each of them has built a political career based on connecting with people across the community, one voter at a time.

There are, of course, two other candidates, Dhaliwal and Hamer-Jackson.  Both are drawing from the same well of voter discontent.  Homelessness, the opioid crisis, and general dissatisfaction with how things are currently being done at City Hall are part of both campaigns.

When Dudy ran in 2011, he almost unceded incumbent Peter Milobar in the mayor’s race.  Dissatisfaction appears to be at least as deep now, but with two candidates campaigning against the current council’s actions.  But Dhaliwal and Hamer-Jackson may end up splitting the vote of people who want a change. It will be interesting to see if either can capture the imagination of voter malcontent.

The months ahead, until Oct. 15, will be a contrast in style.  Straighfoward and direct from Dudy.  Consensus building and grassroots from Singh.  On the attack of the current council by Dhaliwal and Hamer-Jackson.  It promises to be an interesting five months ahead, no matter who else enters the race.

Nancy Bepple is a former City councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.

About Mel Rothenburger (9641 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on BEPPLE – Mayor’s race already shaping up as an interesting one

  1. Bob gamble // April 9, 2022 at 8:49 AM // Reply

    A follow up. Better yet, why not a slate of women candidates? It is a sad commentary all men running doesn’t raise an eyebrow. If there were an all-women slate, can you Imagine the coverage, not only locally. Now that would shake up the local politics and make things interesting. It would certainly get tongues wagging. And who knows, maybe a few more showing up to vote.

  2. Bob Gamble // April 8, 2022 at 7:27 PM // Reply

    Too bad we don’t have a woman or two stepping forward. Do we always have to have a gaggle of guys stepping forwards election after election. None of the present gang of four seem to have any original proposals to bring forward. Same old, same old.

    • You should convince Nancy to step up to the mayoral electoral plate again Bob. Maybe not for new ideas but she IS a woman 🤗

  3. Neither Dudy nor Singh will bring any changes to how things are done at City Hall…that’s one fundamental truth. I wish Reid would reconsider and run for council instead. If that happens then there is going to be a greater chance that both Dudy and Singh leaving municipal politics.

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