Simon Gibson

Abbotsford Coun. Simon Gibson considering Liberal nomination

The long-time municipal politician may try to represent Liberals in Abbotsford-Mission.

Abbotsford Coun. Simon Gibson is contemplating a move that would see him take his political career to a higher level.

The long-time municipal politician is weighing his options and hopes to decide by the end of this week if he will take a shot at the provincial stage.

“I’m considering seeking the Liberal nomination for the Abbotsford-Mission riding, the riding in which I live,” said Gibson.

Gibson would be looking to replace current Liberal MLA Randy Hawes who has already announced he will not seek re-election in May 2013.

While the electoral boundaries have changed, Gibson has lived in the current riding for the past 12 years. He has served as a city councillor for more than three decades, starting in the early 1980s.

Gibson said he has acquired all of the Liberal party nomination paperwork, but he has not filed it, or made a final decision.

Despite the recent turmoil in the party, which has seen its popularity drop, Gibson said the Liberals “represent the only clear alternative to the spectre of the NDP.

“I think the Liberal Party is going through some serious renewal and, if I pursue this opportunity and receive the nomination, I believe I can affect positive change in the party, here in Abbotsford and Mission and elsewhere.”

He said he has already advised Hawes about his interest in the position and is “very optimistic” about the opportunity.

If Gibson does decide to seek the Liberal nomination and wins the right to represent the party in the election, he will not have to step down as city councillor to do so.

If he runs in May and wins the seat, then he would eventually resign from council.

He said he would continue doing both jobs until the end of the year.

If a councillor leaves their position with one year or less remaining, then there is no need for a byelection. The seat would remain empty for the final year.

“That way we can avoid the inconvenience and expense of a byelection.”

Gibson is not the only municipal politician to have an interest in the Liberal nomination.

District of Mission Coun. Tony Luck has also talked about seeking the nomination for the same riding.

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