In a surprise announcement, Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk revealed Thursday she won't be running for re-election.
She made the announcement at Verdiccho's, where she was delivering the annual State of the City address at a luncheon hosted by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce.
"It's time for something different," she said of her reason not to seek re-election. "I have some personal commitments."
First elected in 2010, Matichuk came from virtual obscurity to win the mayoralty from John Rodriguez, a veteran New Democrat MP who won the job in 2006. Since her election, however, she has had difficulty getting support for her campaign agenda, which included deregulating store hours, freezing politician salaries (she froze her own) and amending the Municipal Act to allow for recall of local politicians between elections.
In February 2013, she was also the lone vote opposed to firing Ontario Ombudsman André Marin as the city's closed-door meeting investigator, although she was joined by three other city councillors when the decision was ratified weeks later.
Popular with the public, there were persistent rumours the provincial Liberals were courting her to be their candidate in the June 12 provincial election. While admitting she had been approached, she didn't run for the nomination in Sudbury, which lost the riding to Ward 1 Coun. Joe Cimino, the NDP candidate.
With the mayor's announcement, that leaves former mayor Rodriguez, Ward 5 Coun. Ron Dupuis and former Matichuk backer Dan Melanson as the highest-profile contenders for the job.
Voters go to the polls in municipal elections across Ontario on Oct. 27.