Vancouver City Council candidate Ty Stober pulled a switcheroo after learning that Councilor Larry Smith wouldn’t be running for re-election in November.

Third-termer Smith broke the news at Monday’s council meeting, saying he didn’t want to make council a political career.

Stober, who had announced in March he would be filing for the seat held by first-term Councilor Bill Turlay, decided Tuesday he’d go for the seat Smith was vacating instead.

Turlay hasn’t said yet whether he plans to run again.

But Stober, 44, isn’t waiting to find out. His reasoning is simple:  It’s easier to run for an open seat than against an incumbent. This is Stober’s second shot at a council post. He lost the 2013 primary — Alishia Topper was the ultimate victor.

The problem is that although Turlay makes occasional controversial statements about climate change, he’s not a clear villain, and therefore not an easy target.

“When you’re going up against an incumbent, you have to prove that they deserve to be fired, and that’s a tough task,” Stober said Tuesday. “While Bill and I may have different visions, he’s not done anything to make people hate him.”

Stober, a self-described community leader and advocate for youth, equality and protecting the vulnerable, said he’s spent the two years since his council defeat building relationships and getting his name out. Politicking is complicated, he said.

“For some reason I like to keep torturing myself,” Stober said. “It’s out of a desire to serve and lead in this community, though.”

Scroll to top