THUNDER BAY – Jim Gamble is taking another crack at the mayor’s chair.
The 63-year-old, who finished runner-up in 2006 in former mayor Lynn Peterson’s landslide second mayoral election triumph, on Friday declared he’s throwing his hat into the ring to run in 2018.
Gamble, a long-time critic of all things city hall, said council and the mayor have a disconnect with what’s really going on in Thunder Bay, which is why he decided to run.
“They do not listen to the people,” a nattily dressed Gamble said, unofficially launching his campaign from his smoke-filled South Harold Street residence.
“They do not drive around and walk around this city the way I do, and see and record and report the things I’ve reported on.”
Gamble pointed to the constant gridlock situation at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre as one issue he’d like to address if he’s elected mayor next year.
“I will fix that,” he said.
Although the election is not scheduled until the fall of 2018, and nomination forms can’t officially be signed and submitted until next May, Gamble said he decided to get a jump start on the race and start getting his name out there.
He plans to run a bare-bones campaign, making use of social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube to get his message across to the voting public.
Gamble said he also wants to address the growing problem of homelessness in Thunder Bay, calling the situation horrid.
“We have the mayor and city council sitting on this,” he said. “I have complained about this for a number of years. When I ran against Lynn Peterson in 2006, I was fighting these same battles and no one listened to me.
“They don’t do the right thing, they don’t understand it. They haven’t lived it. I have lived it all,” said the father and grandfather of three, who also claimed during his campaign launch to know U.S. President Donald Trump.
Gamble is the first contestant to say he's running, though several others appear to be in full campaign mode. Mayor Keith Hobbs has said he won't seek a third term next year.
The next municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2018.