Charlie Clark is Saskatoon’s new mayor, according to preliminary results released by the City of Saskatoon.
The former city councillor came from behind in the polls to claim victory, grabbing an estimated 41 per cent of the vote.
For weeks he had been stuck in third place in polling, lagging behind up-and-comer Kelley Moore and four-time mayor Don Atchison.
But Clark capitalized on costly mistakes by the Moore campaign and positioned himself as a candidate of balance and change.
He distanced himself from the record of Don Atchison, criticizing his opponent’s penchant for expensive “mega projects” while neglecting major city issues like roads and crime.
He repeatedly noted that on many issues, including bike lanes, he had voted the opposite of the incumbent.
Previous incumbent Don Atchison finished second, bringing in 37 per cent of the vote. Moore came in third with 22 per cent, while Devon Hein brought up the rear with one per cent.
Clark enters the job with promises to balance growth between the city’s interior and perimeter. He’s advocated for reducing urban sprawl so taxpayer dollars can be directed towards repairing and maintaining existing infrastructure within the city.
He also campaigned on changing Saskatoon’s approach to crime. He highlighted the need for better integration between emergency and mental health services, in order to reduce the number of mental health patients being locked up by police.
Carding, or “street checks,” may also be ended under Clark. He argued in several debates and interviews the practice was unacceptable, saying he doesn’t believe police should be stopping citizens without an investigative purpose.
Clark will be taking up a new chair around city hall’s horseshoe, moving from his position of Ward 6 councillor. He held that position for 10 years prior to the 2016 election.