Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday December 4, 2014
Which door will McHattie choose?
The federal New Democrats want Brian McHattie to run for them in the new Hamilton west-end riding, which covers McHattie’s long-standing municipal power base.
“I have made no decisions at this time as I continue to consider various options in my future plans,” the former mayoral contender said by email.
But Peter Hutton, president of the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas NDP, says there is growing support for McHattie to take the plunge.
“There is a groundswell of people I know from within the riding and elsewhere encouraging him.”
If McHattie accedes, he won’t be the only member of the outgoing city council to look to Ottawa. Bob Bratina is the acclaimed Liberal candidate for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.
McHattie came third in the mayor’s race behind Fred Eisenberger who will be sworn-in with the new council Wednesday and Councillor Brad Clark.
But for 11 years he was the popular left-leaning councillor for west Hamilton’s Ward 1, which forms a large part of the new federal riding known as HWAD.
McHattie swept all but one poll in Ward 1 during the mayor’s race and polled strongly in Dundas. If he signs on with the NDP, that’s bound to make him a formidable front-runner with a built-in voter base and name recognition.
Hutton says he first approached McHattie shortly after the Oct. 28 municipal election.
“Feelers were put out by us because there was support for the idea coming from within his own mayoralty campaign team that he’d do it.”
He says McHattie wasn’t in a frame of mind of discuss the idea at the time, but the door was left open. “Some stuff has come back to my ears but it’s stuff that is in confidence.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)