By Austin M. Davis
Chad Novak has accepted the scrutiny that comes with being one of Regina’s nine mayoral candidates.
The intensity of being in the public eye is something he came to terms with after dropping out of the race in July, only to re-enter in September.
“I’m definitely a lot more cautious about what I say and how I say it because when I began, I was very naïve in a lot of things,“ Novak said.
The relaxing two months he spent as a non-candidate prepared him for an uphill race to Oct. 24, and plenty of media attention in the meantime.
Novak said he expects public scrutiny because he’s a “legitimate contender” who is running on a “grassroots campaign.”
“At the beginning I paid attention to everything that was ever put out there because I wanted to make sure that my message was getting out there properly. I had no idea how the media might portray what I’m putting out there,” Novak said.
From first announcing his candidacy, Novak showed that his campaign would be different.
Leslie-Ann Kroeker was an intern at CBC Regina when Novak held his press conference at the downtown city square.
“He came out driving a very flashy red sports car, to music blaring on loud speakers and you just kind of initially thought that you were at a sporting event, not a campaign opening for a mayoral candidate,” Kroeker said.
After that announcement, Novak confessed he had never done a scrum before.
By Novak’s own admission, he’s more adept at handling the attention now – the good and the bad.
On Oct. 4, Novak brought that bad publicity on himself.
As election “trivia” on Twitter, Novak falsely suggested that Mayor Pat Fiacco’s father-in-law was former mayor Larry Schneider.
On Twitter, Fiacco stated that his father-in-law, who is not Larry Schneider, passed away in 2005.
Just a couple hours after the exchange on Twitter, Novak held a platform announcement in front of City Hall and was unimpressed that gathered media mostly neglected to talk about his platform.
The incident resulted in an unflattering story by the CBC.
“Unfortunately it didn’t get out to the people and some people who based their opinion just on that one story, well obviously I look like a lunatic,” Novak said.
On Fiacco’s side, there is still evidence of bad blood.
“I have no opinion of Chad Novak,” Fiacco said, adding that Novak’s platform is “irrelevant.”
“He’s a candidate and that’s about it,” Fiacco said. “The citizens of this city will determine whether he should be the mayor of this city or not.”