DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: One of the three previously registered candidates for Kawartha Lakes’ next mayor is exiting the race.

In an exclusive interview with The Standard, Joli Scheidler-Benns announced she would be withdrawing from the mayoral race.
“I’ve had a terrible injury, and then I’ve had this virus for ten weeks now. I would want to make sure I was physically able to do the job. Mentally, I know I can do the job and that I’m qualified as a candidate,” she said. “If I were to take this gamble, I could lose.”
But she complimented the current field of municipal election candidates in Kawartha Lakes.

“I think there’s some really good people running this time. So, I’m very excited about that.”

As of now, two candidates remain for the mayor’s chair. Current Kawartha Lakes councillors Pat Dunn and Doug Elmslie remain in the race for the mayor’s job.

Ms. Scheidler-Benns admitted she “never really wanted to be mayor” but instead made the decision to run when she noticed there weren’t a plethora of residents seeking the role. She stated she would officially withdraw from this race when she’s fully recovered from the virus and can leave her residence.

“It’s not an urgent matter. I think the people that need to know [already] know,” Ms. Scheidler-Benns explained.
She listed infrastructure issues and a housing shortage as issues she was hoping to tackle if she was elected as mayor.
“I think with too much ambition, [success is] hard to measure. I think some realistic, solid goals that can be measured is a very good idea,” she said. “I would like to see some of the departments doing a better job working together in terms of sharing information.”

Ms. Scheidler-Benns is the third announced mayoral candidate to withdraw from the race. Jason Ward, who had been contemplating a run before nominations opened, announced his withdrawal from the race in March, citing his need to focus on his family. Eric Smeaton had applied to run for the position but then later withdrew and is now running in Ward 5.