Voting day for the provincial NDP’s leadership election is fast approaching and local MLAs are divided in their personal endorsements.
Esquimalt-Royal Roads MLA Maurine Karagianis has endorses Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan, the only Vancouver Island candidate in the race.
“I think that John gives us the best chance at winning the next election,” she said. “John has a special way of connecting with people … His depth of knowledge is unquestionable. He has a whole lifetime of experience, both in Ottawa and here.”
Horgan was born and raised on Vancouver Island and lives in Langford.
“He understands coastal communities, he understands having to take the ferry in order to get goods and services on and off the Island,” Karagianis said.
Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake, announced his support on Day 1 of candidate Mike Farnworth’s campaign.
Fleming says the Port Coquitlam MLA is the best candidate to help unify the party, which was split under Carole James, who stepped down as leader in December.
“We’ve been in opposition for a long time, and sometimes (opposition parties) fall into a rut where they are sometimes overly critical to the point of being seen as complainers,” Fleming said. “Mike Farnworth, I think, will position the NDP as a government-in-waiting and make the NDP a fundamentally optimistic party.”
Saanich South MLA Lana Popham came out in support of Farnworth last month.
James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill, has not endorsed any of the candidates vying to replace her.
Other candidates vying for leadership of the party are Adrian Dix and Dana Larsen.
—with files from Kyle Slavin