In 1890, when the local population reached 1,478, an application was made to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories to grant town incorporation. Such was granted on 3 December of that year and the following 9 February, the first town council meeting was held in the Lethbridge Hotel. Charles Alexander Magrath was the first mayor and was joined by six aldermen.
Shortly after Alberta became a province in 1905, an application was made for a city charter. City status was granted on 9 May 1906, and the first council meeting was held on 21 May with a mayor and six aldermen as before.
The Alberta Legislature approved a new charter on 25 March 1913 that would see the city governed by three elected commissioners: the mayor, who was also commissioner of finance; a commissioner of public utilities and a commissioner of public works. The charter became effective 1 January 1914 and the first meeting under this commission was held on 5 January 1914 under mayor William Duncan Livingston Hardie.
Within eight years, however, local citizens felt the commission was becoming dictatorial and were able to get the charter amended to allow for thee additional but advisory commissioners. The newly elected commissioners attended their first meeting on 24 April 1922. In 1927, as a result of a plebiscite, Lethbridgians voted to change their civic government from commission to council–manager form. The council was then comprised of seven aldermen, one of whom would be elected internally as a mayor. As well, a city manager was appointed by city council to administer its policies. The new elections were held in June 1928. In their first meeting, on 23 July 1928, council elected Robert Barrowman as their mayor.
In 1961, city electors voted in favour of electing their mayor directly. In 1962, they elected Frank Sherring as mayor. Seven years later, the number of aldermen was increased from six to eight.
The tables below show all candidates who ran in recent elections, who were incumbents, and who won.
|FENGSTAD, Glen M.||3421||2.55|
|LeBARON, D.L. "Rick"||4874||3.63|
|SWITZER, Mark H.||3181||13.4|
|CAMPBELL, Sandra L.||2667||1.9|
|DARLINGTON, Lorne James||2674||1.9|
|DEMERS, Tyler D.||5044||3.7|
|FLYNN, G.E. Kelly||1316||1|
|LACEY, Barbara Ann||X||X||8515||6.2|
|LEBLANC (WEBBER), Bev||2371||1.7|
|PASTOOR, Bridget A.||X||X||5722||4.2|
|WALDERN, Gerald, D.R.||1976||1.4|
|CARPENTER, David B.||X||X||13479||57.2|
|STEPHENSON, Mark D.||3553||15.1|
|COFFMAN, Jeffrey A.||X||8927||6.4|
|FOSTER, Janice (Jan)||8593||6.2|
|PASTOOR, Bridget A.||X||9208||6.6|