Gwen O’Mahony, the face of the NDP party in the Fraser Valley, announced her bid Tuesday for nomination as the party’s candidate in the upcoming byelection.
Party officials also announced on Tuesday that a nomination meeting will be held Jan. 28 starting at 1 p.m. at the Landing Sports Centre in Chilliwack. Nominations for candidates close on Jan. 6 at 5 p.m.
Two candidates for the nomination, Dennis Adamson and Kathleen Stephany, have already announced their intentions.
“I think it’s going to be a hot (nomination) contest, if you look at the calibre of the other candidates,” O’Mahony said.
Adamson is the area director for Yale at the Fraser Valley Regional District, and as an outspoken critic of “conflict” gravel mines has built a reputation as a peoples’ politician.
Stephany, a nursing ethics professor who ran as the NDP candidate in Langley in the 2009 provincial election, she gained a “whistleblower” reputation in 2005 when she was in charge of special investigations at the BC Coroner’s Office.
O’Mahony lead the NDP to a second-place finish in the in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon in last May’s federal election, and to second-place in the 2009 provincial election, with a respectable 33 percent of the vote in the conservative stronghold of Chilliwack-Hope. BC Liberal Barry Penner won the riding with 53 percent of the vote.
Penner’s announcement late last year that he intends to resign from politics has sparked a byelection that will soon become the political focus of the province. No date has yet been set for the byelection.
O’Mahony said she has knocked on more than 11,000 doors in her election campaigns, and attended all kinds of public meetings even when no election was at hand.
“I’ve literally been the front line of the party,” she said. “I do have my finger on the pulse of the voters.”
New Democrats in the Chilliwack-Hope riding will vote for a candidate to run in the upcoming byelection on Jan. 28.
BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix will be the guest speaker at the nomination meeting.