Nour Kadri has attended hundreds of community events, participated in several debates and amassed nearly 400 volunteers as he runs for Ottawa mayor and now the self-described underdog says he feels his campaign is finally being noticed.

Kadri, a professor at the University of Ottawa, hasn’t held public office before and is one of 14 candidates who have put their names forward for the city’s top job after longtime mayor Jim Watson opted not to seek re-election.

It’s an open, crowded race, with much attention focused on three perceived front-runners – a former mayor, a city councillor and a former journalist – but Kadri says he sees it as an opportunity for voters to opt for a fresh face.

They’re looking for something to vote for, rather than vote against,” says Kadri, who pitches himself as a “coalition-builder.

When I become mayor, the City of Ottawa is definitely going to be run through a lens of transparency and accountability like we’ve never seen before.

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