Will this be a marathon or a sprint to the finish line for some civic politicos?
As the May 4th deadline fast approaches for interested individuals seeking an NPA nomination for council, school and park board, a number of names are now beginning to surface. At 11 am on Wednesday morning, Francis Wong, a prominent Chinatown businessman with deep roots in the community, will announce his bid to run for council. It's expected he will easily win the nomination and help to strengthen the NPA's support in the Chinese community.
Last fall the NPA held an early nomination meeting and selected Bill McCreery to represent them on their council slate.
Wong will be joined in his quest to win the nomination by former councillor Elizabeth Ball as well as media guru George Affleck, owner of Curve Communications.
Michael Klassen, co-founder of CityCaucus.com, Sean Bickerton, community organizer for the False Creek Residents Association and Jason Lamarche have already declared they are seeking a council seat. It is anticipated there will be more than 10 candidates vying for 9 open spots on the council slate. Former NPA school trustee Bill Yuen is also expected to re-enter the political world and announce a bid for council.
It is widely expected that popular city councillor Suzanne Anton will also make it official and declare she will go head-to-head against Mayor Gregor this November. However, there are serious rumours swirling that she may have a surprise opponent running against her for the mayoral nomination, but this has yet to been confirmed.
My sources also report that a couple of federal candidates are preparing to make a switch over to municipal politics if their campaigns fall short on May 2nd. The NPA party brass will likely make it all official shortly after everyone has handed in their official paperwork sometime next week.
As for Vision Vancouver and their COPE coalition partners, we still don't quite know exactly what is going on with their nomination meetings. It is assumed all of the elected officials will be automatically given incumbency protection (something they vehemently opposed while in opposition) by their party executives.
Only a few years ago Vision Vancouver was boasting a membership of 16,000 members, but it is doubtful they have anywhere near that many any more. Unfortunately, they haven't provided the public with any update on exactly what their active membership is heading into their nomination process later this year. Judging by the number of empty seats at their recent AGM (see photo), I suspect they have no more than a few thousand active members, if they're lucky.
In terms of the hapless COPE party, word is they are still grovelling to their Vision cousins and begging Robertson to keep three seats open for them on his council slate. Yet again, they will not be running a mayoral candidate. We'll keep you posted as the various nomination meetings unfold.
- Post by Daniel. Follow us on Twitter @CityCaucus