Kennedy Stewart considering B.C. NDP leadership

Another Burnaby MP is considering a run at the provincial NDP leadership position.

Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart told the NOW he's exploring his options, now that MLA John Horgan and MP Nathan Cullen have dropped out of the race.

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"Where I am now is I'm still exploring," Stewart said. "I would say I'm moving into what would be phase 2, which would be really starting to put together a small team to look at the possibilities of this moving forward."

Stewart said he's already received $30,000 in pledges from people encouraging him to run, and he hasn't even asked for money.

"So people weren't just giving me advice, they were putting their money where their mouth is," he said.

Once Cullen dropped out earlier this month, the pressure on Stewart to run increased as people started looking for more leadership hopefuls, he explained.

Stewart said he will make a decision before the holidays, and he needs to consider the expenses, his family, his colleagues and constituents. Stewart expects the NDP leadership convention to be in the fall of 2014, although no date has been set yet.

Stewart first ran for Vancouver Centre in the 2004 federal election but was defeated. He secured the Burnaby-Douglas riding in 2011, beating Conservative candidate Ronald Leung by 1,011 votes. Stewart is a political scientist and tenured professor with SFU's school of public policy.

Burnaby-New Westminster MP Peter Julian has also toyed with the idea of running for leader of the B.C. NDP. In late September, Julian told the NOW he was "seriously considering" it, but he wanted to hear from his constituents before deciding. Both Stewart and Julian attended the B.C. NDP’s convention in Vancouver last weekend. On Monday, Julian said he was still listening to folks and hearing what they had to say regarding the leadership question.

 

- with files from Don Hauka

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