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Farnworth considers run for NDP top job
By Gary McKenna & Tom Fletcher
Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth said he is considering seeking his party’s leadership nomination for a second time after current NDP chief Adrian Dix announced Wednesday he will resign.
Farnworth, who finished second in the last leadership contest after losing on the third ballot by 677 votes, said he has been talking with friends and colleagues about whether he will enter the race. “I am giving it very serious consideration,” he told The Tri-City News on Thursday, the day after Dix’s announcement. “I am talking with my colleagues and members of the party and members of the public.”
He said the next NDP leader will have to be able to “capture the hearts and minds” of voters in order for the party to be successful in keeping the BC Liberals from winning a fifth mandate.
Farnworth added that the caucus is supportive of Dix’s decision and that the former leader will remain an asset to the party.
“I think Adrian did the right thing,” he said. “He said after the election, he would take some time out to reflect and he made his decision in the interests of the party.”
If Farnworth does decide to run, he will likely have a lot of support in the Tri-Cities.
On Wednesday, PoCo Mayor Greg Moore, who ran against Farnworth with the BC Liberals in 2005, posted a Facebook comment encouraging the NDP MLA to seek his party’s nomination.
“I am not a NDP, BCL [BC Liberal], Cons [BC Conservative], Green or any other [provincial] party member,” he wrote. “But I hope Mike Farnworth runs for BCNDP leadership.”
Dix said Wednesday he intends to stay on as leader until next year, when party members hold a vote to replace him. He told a press conference in downtown Vancouver that the NDP’s loss to the BC Liberals in the May provincial election was his responsibility.
“It has become clear to me that the best interests of our party mean that I need to step aside for a new leader who can lead us to victory in 2017,” Dix said.
“It is my hope that a leadership vote can be held by mid-2014 at the latest, though of course any final decision on timing will be made by the NDP.”
Dix said he intends to stay on as MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway and run for re-election there. The party has a convention scheduled for November, at which time his continued leadership will be considered, along with the overall direction of the party.
Dix announced his intentions at a party caucus meeting before making his intentions public, and said his fellow NDP MLAs are “resolute and determined to keep the pressure on the government and hold them to account for their cynical campaign.”
– with files from Janis Warren