NEWS

Barinder Rasode expected to run against Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts

04/17/2014 02:38 EDT | Updated 06/17/2014 05:59 EDT
Speculation is mounting that Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts may be facing a challenge to her leadership after high-profile city councillor Barinder Rasode announced Thursday she was leaving the mayor's Surrey First party.

Rasode announced her decision to become an independent via Twitter.

Rasode claims her outspoken position on public safety concerns has left her isolated within the ranks of Surrey First.

Asked if she is planning to run for mayor, she said: "Like many of my colleagues, it's certainly something I would consider strongly."

The rumour machine is already rife with names of fellow Surrey First councillors — Linda Hepner and Tom Gill — who may be planning to do electoral battle.

Gill said that any decision he makes will be based on Watts' own plans.

"If something should change in the mayor's program, certainly I would need to make that decision at that time."

As to whether she will run again, the mayor is keeping mum.

"There's going to be an election in November," Watts said.  "If I make [any decision] to the contrary, you'll be the first to know."

Nominations for council open Sept. 29.

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