Once you've campaigned to be lord mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake at the age of 23, what comes next?
Dan Turner hasn't quite made up his mind, but not surprisingly, the confident and articulate young man has lots of options.
Although the conclusion of his election run was not what he was hoping for, he was satisfied with the campaign he ran, he says. He knocked on a lot of doors, met a lot of people with whom he was able to share his ideas, and was able to garner the support of more than 1,400 voters.
NOTL has been his home most of his life, and he had some positive ideas about change to present to voters, including how to fund a world-class aquatic centre in town.
“I'm feeling optimistic about the future, ” he said. “There is definitely more to come.”
The experience has made him want to become more involved in the community, he said, but other than that, “I need time to do some more reflecting. I need to think about what comes next.”
Going to grad school is an option, as is looking for other career opportunities — he currently holds an honours economics degree from Brock University — but whatever he chooses to do, he has learned some valuable skills while campaigning that will help in the future, including time management.
He learned something important about himself as well. While he has always considered himself a quiet person and an introvert, “I've discovered I'm more of a people person, more of an extrovert than I thought I was.”
The kind remarks and compliments he was given on the campaign trail were great to hear, he adds.
“A lot of people commented that I was well-spoken, and wise beyond my years. That is good to know.”
He also learned something about the community — it's more diverse than he thought it was.
“I met a lot of people from many places in the world. The town has become more multi-cultured.”
He even met people who suggested they might have a job opportunity for him if the election didn't work out, or who asked him to join their groups or service clubs.
“It's definitely been a very interesting experience,” says Turner.
“I have absolutely no regrets. I'm glad I put my name forward — I got to connect with so many new people in my own home town.”