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NDP Leadership Race To Heat Up In January

VICTORIA — NDP’s outgoing leaderAdrian Dix says the race to replace himas New Democratic Party leader will heatup in January and most of the candidatesare likely to come from the current partycaucus.Dix, in a year-end interview with TheCanadian Press, says he’s not namingnames and won’t back a candidate, but heexpects currently elected provincial NewDemocrats to dominate the field.”I think there’s going to be great candidatesfrom the current caucus,” said Dix.”This is the strongest NDP caucus we’vehad in a long time. There are a significantnumber of caucus members who are in aposition, I think, to run and win the leadership.”But, so far, no current member of theNDP caucus has officially declared theircandidacy. Only current NDP houseleader John Horgan, a former leadershipcandidate, has said he won’t run.Current NDP finance critic MikeFarnworth, who was runner-up to Dix asleader in April 2011, has said he’s interestedin running for leader, but has notmade an official announcement.Former union leader George Heymanand legal advocate David Eby are alsoexpected to run. Other New Democratssaid to be considering their candidacy areRob Fleming and Judy Darcy.”I think they have a significant advantage,caucus members,” Dix said.”They’re elected and they know the joband they know the position. But I expectto see other candidates as well.”Dix said the potential candidacy of federalparty members has generated publicity.But he said that he believes the coming2015 federal election will keep most MPscommitted to federal politics.So far, B.C. NDP MPs Nathan Cullen,Peter Julian and Fin Donnelly have saidthanks, but no thanks, to the job opening.”When I read those stories, it was mystrong guess they wouldn’t be candidates,ultimately and they weren’t,” Dix said.Lower Mainland NDP MPs KennedyStewart and Jinny Sims are said to be stillconsidering entering the race.Dix said he doesn’t consider it odd thatnobody has officially entered the race,even though he announced he’d stepdown more than four months ago.Dix said he plans to stay in politics as theMLA for Vancouver-Kingsway, workingunder the new NDP leader.”I think you can drive change from theOpposition side,” he said.”It’s not as easy. It’s not what you wouldprefer. I was disappointed on May 14, butI got up on May 15, all the same, andstarted doing my job. That’s what I’mgoing to do.”Dix can be forgiven if he wants to getpast 2013 and move on with 2014.One moment, the election victory speechwas being rehearsed; the next, a shakenDix was on stage delivering a concessionspeech about an election loss that hasmost New Democrats in BritishColumbia still wondering, “‘What happened’.”Dix entered last April’s election campaignwith what was believed to be asolid 20-point lead, but that disappearedon election night, leaving Dix alone on aVancouver stage to congratulate PremierChristy Clark and her Liberals for theirfourth consecutive mandate.Dix also recently lost his father, Ken.Courtesy Canadian Press

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