Legislature staffer running for Liberals in Saanich South

Veteran legislature staffer Rishi Sharma will run as the B.C. Liberal candidate in Saanich South

Rishi Sharma is running for the B.C. Liberals in Saanich South.

Veteran legislature staffer Rishi Sharma will run as the B.C. Liberal candidate in Saanich South, and will face NDP incumbent Lana Popham in May’s provincial election.

Sharma, 37, says he’s running for politics to “give back to my community,” after 13 years working for the provincial government. He was recently featured in the News for recycling components of a house with Habitat for Humanity.

Sharma most recently worked as John Yap’s assistant in the Ministry of Advanced Education. Yap was also the minister responsible for multiculturalism, and stepped down last month amid the Liberal’s ethnic memo scandal.

“It was emotionally draining (being in the ministry at that time),” Sharma said. “I don’t think this election people really want to focus on the scandals.”

Sharma points to a very tight race in the riding in 2009 – Popham won by just 482 votes – and says he hopes he’ll be able to convince new faces to support his party.

Branko Mustafovic will run for the B.C. Green party. The B.C. Conservatives have not named a candidate in the riding.

kslavin@saanichnews.com