Terminal illness pushes candidate out of Morinville's mayoral race
Christa Naughton drops out due to cancer diagnosis
By: Kevin Ma
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 05:15 pm
A bout with cancer has forced one of Morinville’s four mayoral candidates to drop out of the race – but her name will still be on the ballot Monday.
Christa Naughton, who was running for mayor of Morinville, announced on the Morinville Election 2013 Facebook page Oct. 7 that she was withdrawing from the mayoral race due to health concerns.
Naughton made the decision two weeks ago after an appointment with her doctor, said spokesperson Christine Kennedy, who made the post on Naughton’s behalf.
“She has terminal cancer, and her doctor figures she’s got about a year-and-a-half to live.”
Naughton felt it wasn’t fair to run for mayor if she couldn’t serve out her term in full, Kennedy said.
“She won’t make it the four years.”
Naughton has yet to send anything official to the town to announce her withdrawal, said town returning officer Jennifer Maskoske.
“She’s still in the mayoral race,” she said, and will still be on the ballot.
Nor can Naughton legally withdraw at this point in the election, said Municipal Affairs spokesperson Jerry Ward. Under the Local Authorities Election Act, candidates can withdraw their name from an election within 24 hours of the close of nominations, but that was at noon on Sept. 23.
“Because that time has passed,” Ward said, “the candidate’s name will still appear on the ballot, and she must take office if she’s elected.”
Candidates must also submit formal written notice to the returning officer of their withdrawal, he added – a Facebook post doesn’t count. If she were to win, Naughton could choose to resign after the election, triggering a by-election.
Naughton thanked all her supporters and said it was a great pleasure to meet everyone, Kennedy said.