Former Tory MP Running For Mayor Of St. Thomas

A familiar political face has thrown his hat in the ring to become the next mayor of St. Thomas.

Former Conservative MP Joe Preston announced on Tuesday that he is running for the city’s top job.

“St. Thomas is my hometown. I have served here as a community activist, as a job creator, and as a parliamentarian and Member of Parliament for eleven and a half years,” said Preston. “I think I can help our community grow, be a better place by becoming the mayor of St. Thomas.”

Preston served as the MP for Elgin-Middlesex-London from 2004 to 2015, when he chose not to seek re-election.

While the 63-year-old had been mulling over a run at the municipal level, it was ultimately the encouragement he received from others in the community that drove him to do it.

“People recognize me on the street and say ‘Joe, you should run for mayor. Our town would be a stronger place.’ It has been hundreds who have come up to say that over the last three or four months and it has helped me make my decision to do so,” said Preston.

Since retiring from federal politics, Preston co-founded Living Alive Granola, a company that makes granola using fresh ingredients from local farmers. He is also a longtime owner of Wendy’s and Boston Pizza in St. Thomas.

Two other people, one-term city councillor Stephen Wookey and musician and entrepreneur Malichi Malé, have also launched bids to become St. Thomas mayor. Current Mayor Heather Jackson has expressed plans to run for a third-term but has yet to file her nomination papers.

Voters go to the polls October 22.