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Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson to seek re-election in 2018

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, left, looks on as Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson speaks to the media after a meeting in Toronto on March 6, 2017.

Frank Gunn/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Ottawa's mayor says he will seek re-election in the 2018 municipal election.

In a lengthy statement posted on Facebook early today, Jim Watson said serving as mayor has been a "tremendous honour" and is proud of his record and "everything we've built together."

Watson cited a list of accomplishments as mayor, including bringing back strong fiscal discipline to city hall and remains committed to "keeping taxes at an affordable rate."

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He added that he wants to thank the "many friends and residents" who have contacted him to ask that he run again.

Watson was first elected to Ottawa city council in 1991, and following a second term as councillor, became mayor in 1997 with 82 per cent of the vote.

After resigning as mayor in 2000, Watson become president and CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission, then turned to provincial politics and captured the Ottawa West-Nepean riding for the Liberals in the 2003 Ontario election.

He was re-elected in 2007 and held several cabinet portfolios during his time at Queen's Park, including Health Promotion, Municipal Affairs and Housing and Consumer and Business Services.

Watson then left provincial politics and was elected as Ottawa's mayor in 2010 and again in 2014.

"Our city is in the midst of its most significant transformation in a generation, and with the support of the people of Ottawa, I hope to continue to play a small part in our beautiful city's bright future," he said.

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