Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)

Todd Stone says he’s not running for B.C. Liberal leadership

Kamloops MLA was widely viewed as a front-runner

He spent time putting together a campaign team after Andrew Wilkinson stepped down as B.C. Liberal leader, but Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone won’t be running to lead the party.

Stone announced on his Facebook page Jan. 14 that while he’s “energized” about carrying on as an MLA, he won’t continue with what has been the only visible leadership campaign for the party. His three daughters “don’t know a time when their dad wasn’t in public office,” and it’s time to be more available to them, he said.

With an early organizing effort underway to measure support, Stone issued an open letter to the party after the October snap election, where he set out priorities for recovering from what he called “the worst election result in three decades.” The letter called for a a more diverse slate of candidates to appeal to urban areas and younger voters where the party lost ground.

RELATED: B.C. ‘disgusted’ with COVID-19 election call, Wilkinson says

RELATED: Interim B.C. Liberal leader Shirley Bond looks ahead to 2021

“Following the resignation of our former leader, I have been carefully considering whether this was the right time for me to once again put my name forward for the leadership of the B.C. Liberal Party,” Stone said. “I focused on building out a core team and engaged with hundreds of British Columbians. A talented, growing campaign team, a strong fundraising group, and supporters in every corner of the province were at the ready to formally launch a campaign.”

Stone first ran for the leadership in 2017 after former premier Christy Clark lost by a slim margin and the NDP formed a minority government with B.C. Green support. Other candidates were veteran Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong, Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee and former Surrey mayor and MP Dianne Watts, who finished a close second to Wilkinson.

Stone is the jobs and economic recovery critic for the B.C. Liberals, who are expected to return to the B.C. legislature in March with interim leader Shirley Bond in charge.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Signs geared to protecting salmon habitat were damaged at the Fraser River near Chilliwack. (Facebook)
New signs for protecting Fraser River habitat near Chilliwack vandalized

Fishery officers want off-road users to enjoy river resource in the ‘least damaging way possible’

Abbotsford Regional Hospital (Black Press file photo)
Nurse assaulted at Abbotsford hospital in same ward as 2019 dumbbell attack

‘Completely unacceptable that nurses continue to be assaulted,’ says union president

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

A real estate sold sign hangs in front of a Canadian property Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy.
Fraser Valley Real Estate Board breaks sales records 6 months in a row

‘Levels never seen before in the 100-year history of the FVREB’

(Black Press file photo)
Harrison Mills boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Surrey officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Most Read