February of 2016 was a blisteringly cold month notable because of the 32 candidates all running in the by-election to take the seat on Edmonton City Council vacated by Amarjeet Sohi. And like a crew of - I'm sure completely serious candidates - they made debates and forums look like clown-cars as they all piled in and tried to have their voices heard.
At one point Ryan Jespersen tried to make sense of the whole thing by hosting an elimination debate show, last candidate standing.
Of course the actual last candidate standing, the winner of the election Moe Banga, was not present in the final three of the radio debate (Field Pieterse, Lincoln Ho, and Rakesh Patel).
Many of these candidates said they were serious and unperturbed by the loss. Just after the election, fourth-place candidate (950 votes) Irfan Chaudhry spoke on the Basket of YEGs Podcast saying that he would absolutely be running again in the next general election.
But, like the 31 other candidates who also went home unsuccessful last year, he has not yet filed his intention to run in the election this October.
With just two-and-a-half months before we go to the polls, one would expect most contenders in this election to have made some noise.
At time of writing 79 candidates have filed their notice of intent to run in the election (candidates are not official until nomination day, September 18th). Currently Moe Banga isn't running completely unopposed: Nigel Logan has stepped up and is also running in Ward 12 - but Nigel did not participate in the by-election.
I reached out to most of the candidates - many of them are difficult to reach now with campaign emails and phone numbers being shut down and social media unmaintained.
Second place (1,283 votes) candidate Laura Thibert, will actually be running again in the general election, but she confirmed that she will be running for the position of Catholic School Board Trustee, a position in which she current holds the chair.
Of the highly-placed candidates Arundeep Singh Sandhu (3rd place, 1,106 votes) and Danisha Bhaloo (6th place, 843 votes) could not be reached for comment.
Nav Kaur (5th place, 888 votes) caused a stir during the by-election with many accusing her of NDP affiliation. She has decided not to run again in 2017.
Preet Toor (7th place, 665 votes) who earned David Staples' endorsement as a stand-out candidate, confirmed through her campaign staff that she would not be running again.
As well, we probably shouldn't expect to hear from Shani Ahmad, who dropped out of the race to support Irfan Chaudhry. Interestingly enough, Ahmad still didn't take last place in the election, that was R. Joey Koopmans with five votes.
Yash Sharma holds a special place in my heart for having one of the most interesting campaign videos.
While he couldn't be reached for comment, I suspect we might not be hearing from him this election. He was sued for role in an alleged conspiracy to smear a local journalist.
I reached out to Moe Banga asking what he thought of being the only one of the thirty-two to run again. He deftly responded that he's focusing only on his campaign and won't comment on the motivations of others.
Much can change in the coming two months, but I suspect the ward 12 race will be a much less "interesting" one this time around. And probably much cheaper to boot.