HEPNERSurrey, BC: Surrey First has chosen longtime City Councillor Linda Hepner as their candidate for mayor in the 2014 Surrey city election.

“I am committed to leading Surrey First into the coming election and building on the successes that we have achieved over the past nine years,” says Hepner. “I am so grateful for this honour. I believe this is a time of incredible opportunity for our city, and I am committed to continuing the prosperity, stability, and sense of community that has made Surrey one of the greatest cities in Canada.”

Councillor Hepner also received the endorsement of one of Canada’s most popular elected officials and the current Mayor of Surrey, Dianne Watts.

“When I announced a few months ago that I would not be seeking re-election I knew it would be extremely important to have someone step forward as a Mayoral Candidate who would have integrity, experience, and common sense,” says Mayor Watts. “A person who possesses the leadership skills to work with all levels of government for the greater good of our city and to lead with an experienced and steady hand. Someone who has the ability to work with very diverse groups, bringing them together to build on the incredible work that our Surrey First team has been able to accomplish; someone who can take our city to the next level. Because of that, I fully support, without reservation, Linda Hepner as the Surrey First candidate for Mayor.”

Hepner has served on the Surrey City Council since 2005, where she oversaw a number of key portfolios including Economic Development, Agriculture, Parks and Recreation and Tourism, and the 2010 Olympic Games Committee. She spearheaded the Clean Energy & Technology Action Plan, organized the annual Regional Economic Summit, and served as Chair of the Whalley Implementation Team. She also represented Surrey on the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors, the Regional Planning and Agriculture Committee, the Utilities Committee, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Also today, Surrey First has unveiled its full 2014 team, including three well-respected community members running for council seats.

Current Councillors seeking re-election are: Councillor Judy Villeneuve, Councillor Bruce HayneCouncillor Tom GillCouncillor Mary Martin, and Councillor Barbara Steele. Joining the Surrey First team as candidates are Vera LeFranc, an advocate for employment, poverty reduction, crime prevention, housing and homelessness, and community economic development; Dave Woods, a 43-year RCMP veteran and proponent for community safety and business development; and Mike Starchuk, the current Chief Fire Prevention Officer of the Surrey Fire Services and active community member in community health and safety initiatives.

Linda may face Barinder Rasode, who parted ways with Surrey First couple of months ago in the Mayoral battle. Barinder has still not announced her candidacy but is expected to make the announcement soon.