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‘You never know’: Former Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts mulling BC Liberal leadership run

Conservative MP Dianne Watts asks a question during Question Period in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Former Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts says she’s not closing the door on a possible run for the leadership of the BC Liberals.

Watts led the city from 2005 to 2014, and was first elected to city council back in 1996.

She has since moved on to federal politics, sitting as the South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP for the federal Conservative Party.

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Watts was one of the first names that surfaced to replace Christy Clark as BC Liberals leader, and of all the potential outside nominees she has generated some of the most intense speculation.

“You never know,” she said, adding that she’s currently weighing her options.

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“I certainly have received lots of phone calls and emails, and I’m talking to those people that are pushing me in that direction,” she said.

“I haven’t made a decision of course, but it’s good to do some due diligence and be open and talk to people and gather as much information as possible and then make a decision.”

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Christy Clark one-on-one

Watts’ stature south of the Fraser could make her a formidable addition to the Liberal bench.

The Liberals lost three key seats in Surrey in the 2017 election, part of an urban collapse that cost them their government.

Watts also served a term as chair of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, experience that could help her craft a new Liberal transit platform viewed as more sensitive to Metro Vancouverites’ concerns.

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Watts said she had not initially set out to take a shot at the premier’s chair, and that she’s not rushing into the decision.

Former Liberal Leader Christy Clark formally resigned her seat as MLA on Friday, a week after making the surprise announcement she was quitting as Liberal leader.

Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman is currently serving as interim leader for the party.

The BC Liberals have yet to announce a date for a new leadership convention.

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