Halifax councillor Russell Walker, first elected in 1994, announced Wednesday he won’t run in this fall’s municipal election after seven terms.
“The support from residents has impacted this journey in a positive way and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone in the District for what will be 27 years at the end of this term,” Walker said in a news release on Wednesday.
Walker said he would not have been able to do the job without his wife, Cheryl, who died last fall.
“Being accessible to residents was important to me as a Councillor and Cheryl was often the first point of contact for residents when they would call our home to talk about various issues,” Walker wrote.
The councillor highlighted his time on several committees, including 26 years on the city’s grants committee and 20 on the audit and finance committee, and with outside organizations like the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Property Valuation Services Corporation.
Known for his catchphrase, “Here we go again,” Walker often portrays himself as the cantankerous yet reasoned voice on council amid dysfunctional debates.
Walker was first elected in a by-election in the former District 15 — Fairview-Clayton Park in January 1994. He was reelected in 1995, and acclaimed in 2000. He won again in 2004 with 70% of the vote, and was acclaimed again in 2008. In the new District 10 — Halifax-Bedford Basin West, Walker won with more than 50% of the vote in 2012. In 2016, the councillor won by just 35 votes.
There are already five candidates declared for the district in this fall’s election: Andrew Curran, Mohammad Ehsan, Sherry Hassanali, Debbie MacKinnon, Kyle Morton. Curran was the runner-up in 2016.
The election is scheduled for Oct. 17.