Kamloops MLAs Peter Milobar and Todd Stone celebrate their constituency wins May 9. (Facebook)

Todd Stone joins crowded B.C. Liberal leadership field

Eight candidates in running to replace Christy Clark

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone is the eighth candidate to replace Christy Clark as leader of the B.C. Liberal Party.

Stone begins his run with a series of events Tuesday, in Surrey, Victoria and then a rally in his home town. The launch was announced by Peter Fassbender, the former Langley City mayor who lost his seat in May to the NDP’s Jagrup Brar, the incumbent he knocked off in 2013.

Surrey is the home turf of former mayor Dianne Watts, the high-profile party outsider who has resigned her federal seat as a Conservative MP to contest the B.C. Liberal leadership.

Other likely front-runners are Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong, the former finance minister, Vancouver-Quilchena MLA and former party president Andrew Wilkinson and Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier, who took over from Fassbender as education minister before the B.C. Liberals lost power this summer.

Also seeking the leadership are former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan, in his second term as MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, rookie Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee and Terrace business business owner and political newcomer Lucy Sager.

The Lower Mainland is a key battleground for the B.C. Liberals, who lost nine seats there to the NDP in the May election while strengthening their hold on the B.C. Interior. The party was reduced to a single seat on Vancouver Island, held by Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell.

Support outside the urban core is vital to the leadership contestants, because the B.C. Liberal Party assigns 100 points to each of the province’s 87 constituencies, to give equal weight to each despite the large majority of party members who live in large cities.

The party has set a spending cap of $600,000 for leadership candidates, with another $50,000 required to pay for the online vote set for early February a series of debates and forums around the province.

The next event is Oct. 15 in Surrey, followed by events in Prince George, Nanaimo, the Thompson-Okanagan and one hosted by the B.C. Liberal Indigenous Network.

The deadline to renew or join the party in time to vote or to run for the leadership is Friday, Dec. 29, with the cost of a membership remaining at $10.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Poor ventilation likely cause of carbon monoxide incident at Delta farm

All 42 patients have been released from hospital, according to Delta Fire

VIDEO: Abbotsford parents demand action on crime-ridden inn near elementary school

Petition signed by dozens concerned for student safety

PHOTOS: Mission Rotary Carol Festival packs them in

Production supports the Mission Christmas Bureau.

VIDEO: IHIT identifies Langley murder victim

IHIT is now on scene investigating the death.

Preschooler surprises parents with plan to help the homeless

Dave Rigdon, almost 4, of Abbotsford collects bottles to turn in for cash

VIDEO: Mission Friendship Centre Christmas Market

Christmas Market comes to Mission

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

VIDEO: Man frustrated that Vancouver taxi driver won’t take him home to New Westminster

Kuldip Gill says that not being able to get a ride to the suburbs is a constant problem

Legacy of Amanda Todd lives on through B.C. foundation

Todd’s mother Carol stresses the importance of putting the phone down and talking with children

UPDATE: Train hits hydro pole, causes outage near Deltaport

No injuries reported but traffic in and out of Deltaport is blocked

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read