Saturday, April 12, 2014
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, April 12, 2014
Larry Di Ianni not running for Hamilton mayor
Former Hamilton mayor Larry Di Ianni says staying out of the race for the city’s top job has been, “in some respects, the hardest decision that I’ve made.”
It will be the first time since 1982 that the former school teacher and principal has not been on a political ballot. He says after his loss to Mayor Bob Bratina in 2010, he figured he was done in local politics.
“But politics is a bit of a drug. Whenever there’s an election, the urge comes back.”
Di Ianni made the announcement Friday morning on Twitter. He also posted a statement on his Facebook page that outlined what he considers his political achievements, including the Red Hill Parkway, airport employment lands, the city’s poverty round table and Randle Reef cleanup.
Speculation had swirled about whether Di Ianni, who has remained outspoken on civic issues, would join fellow former mayor Fred Eisenberger in the eight-candidate race.
Di Ianni says he was “leaned on very heavily by responsible people who think I have something to contribute.”
He expects to throw his support behind a candidate but hasn’t decided who that will be.
Di Ianni started his political life as a Stoney Creek councillor and served one term on Hamilton council after amalgamation before becoming mayor by defeating political heavyweight David Christopherson.
He then took an unsuccessful run as a Liberal candidate in the 2008 federal election, losing to the NDP’s Wayne Marston in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.
“It will be a different experience not being on the ballot, but I expect to be involved,” said Di Ianni. “Most of the nominated candidates have reached out to me. There are good candidates stepping forward and I expect more will come.”
Both he and his wife were surprised by her support for another run for mayor, says Di Ianni, who has spent his time away from politics volunteering and operating a government relations consulting business.
“She was advocating most strongly that I go for it. … She sees how I light up around political issues. But she’s happy with my decision.”
Di Ianni was mayor from 2003 to 2006. He lost to Eisenberger in an election campaign clouded by Di Ianni’s violations of election expenses laws.
The Stoney Creek father of three says he had already made his decision when he heard of the sudden death of just-retired federal finance minister Jim Flaherty on Thursday.
“It drove home the point that there is a start to one’s life and an end to one’s life. If you continue the hurly-burly activities and push the limits, it doesn’t extend your life. The end point is always there,” said Di Ianni.
“Everyone in that 60 age range thinks about it.” – Larry D (Source: Hamilton Spectator)