WINNIPEG — The first candidate to step forward for the Manitoba Liberal Party leadership launched her bid Friday by arriving at a news conference on a motorcycle and touting her youth as an asset.
Cindy Lamoureux, a 25-year-old political rookie first elected to the legislature last April, said she has the enthusiasm to build up a party that captured three seats in the last election.
“I have the energy. I have no reason not to go and ask people to donate to the party and I believe that I can convince them to,” Lamoureux said.
“Edward Schreyer was 22 when he was first elected into the Manitoba legislative building. He went on to the be the premier of Manitoba. That is such an inspiration for me.”
Lamoureux is the first candidate to replace Rana Bokhari, who resigned after a rocky election campaign last year.
A handful of the party’s candidates in the provincial election were disqualified by Elections Manitoba and the party omitted the cost of its promises from its budget plans.
It’s not clear how much support Lamoureux has for the leadership to be decided Oct. 21.
One of her caucus colleagues, Jon Gerrard, who led the Liberals between 1998 and 2011, was not at Lamoureux’s launch and has not ruled out a leadership bid himself.
The other Liberal caucus member, interim leader Judy Klassen, stood behind Lamoureux on Friday, but said she had not yet made a decision on whether to endorse anyone or run herself.
“I have until June 20 to decide,” Klassen said. “I’m here to support the announcement and we’re going to wait and see.”
Lamoureux was endorsed by MaryAnn Mihychuk, a Liberal MP who was demoted from cabinet earlier this year.
Mihychuk described Lamoureux, who worked briefly as Mihychuk’s riding manager, as “hard-working, dedicated, politically astute.”
Lamoureux comes from a political family. Her father Kevin Lamoureux is the MP for Winnipeg North and her uncle Darrin Lamoureux is leader of the Saskatchewan Liberals.
She promised Friday to improve Liberal fundraising and election readiness.
“I do believe that we need to start creating that full slate of candidates today. We need to be courting quality candidates who are going to be representing their communities.”