The race to become Calgary's next mayor has a new competitor: Former CTV News anchor, Barb Higgins, on Wednesday confirmed what many already suspected - she wants the city's top political job.

Higgins says it was time for a change.

"For 21 years as a TV journalist, I have had a front row seat to what goes on in our city. I have researched and written the news, but I have had to stay neutral. I have made the decision to jump into municipal politics because I don't want to be neutral anymore," said Higgins.

Higgins is the first woman, and twelfth person, to jump into the race. She says she'll focus on empowering city workers and reigning in the budget

"People know I have a social heart but what you don't know is I am a fiscal conservative. I have respect for money and I have respect for how money is spent," added Higgins.

At her press conference on Wednesday, Higgins did not offer any other platform or policies. She says that will come in the weeks ahead.

Her opponents say it should come now.

"I'm certainly not going to give her advice on how to run her campaign. When I made my announcement it was very important for me to tell people why I was running," said mayoral candidate Bob Hawkesworth.

"Barb's been a great news anchor; we'll see where she stands on the policies. I guess what people want to know is: are you credible to lead this city through some opportunities and challenges as we go forward?" said mayoral candidate Kent Hehr.

Higgins says the decision to run was only made in the last few days. She says when she stepped down from her job at CTV last week, she still wasn't sure if she would enter the race.

However, she says all the support she's received since then has convinced her to run.

Mayoral candidates Alnoor Kassam and Wayne Stewart issued press releases Wednesday in response to Higgins' announcement welcoming her to the race.

Stewart says she's an outsider, like him.

Kassam says this will increase interest among voters in the race.

Ric McIver, who many think is the front runner, says he's not surprised that Higgins didn't release a policy platform at the time of her announcement Wednesday because he says she hasn't spent any time at City Hall over the last few years, but he says this won't change his campaign at all.

Here is the list of 12 declared candidates for mayor in alphabetical order:

  • Craig Burrows
  • Joe Connelly
  • Bob Hawkesworth
  • Kent Hehr
  • Barb Higgins
  • Paul Hughes
  • Gary Johnston
  • Alnoor Kassam
  • Jon Lord
  • Ric McIver
  • Naheed Nenshi
  • Wayne Stewart