Big-name provincial politicians bow out of Vancouver mayoral race

Vancouver-West End NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert .
Vancouver-West End NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert .

You can check some more names off the list of those not interested in being the next mayor of Vancouver.

Vancouver-West End NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert says after being heavily courted to run for the job, he is saying no thank you.

“Getting out for a walk in Beacon Hill Park with my husband and son and just going, ‘I don’t want to give this up. I have worked too hard to be an MLA as part of a government to make change.’ Now that I was here, why would I go anywhere else?” Chandra Herbert said.

“I couldn’t be a good husband, dad and community leader if I ran for mayor.”

Chandra Herbert says he was approached by all civic parties, except for the NPA, about running for them or for part of a group supported by them.

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He acknowledged Vancouver is “going through some challenging times” and that he “loves” the city but can do more as an MLA than as mayor.

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Gregor Robertson won’t seek another term as Vancouver mayor – Jan 10, 2018

“I weighed it out and, you know, hopefully I made the right call,” he said. “We have already made some big changes that my neighbours could have only dreamed about for a long time, like improving the Residential Tenancy Act and improving child care.”

The mayoral race is wide open with Vision Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson choosing not to seek re-election. Former MP Libby Davies and current MPs Don Davies and Joyce Murray have been rumoured to be interested in the job. Current city councillor Raymond Louie has not ruled out a run.

READ MORE: Gregor Robertson’s political peers weigh in on his legacy, as 3-term mayor bows out

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As for potential newcomers, Shauna Sylvester has being receiving a lot of attention as a potential Vision Vancouver candidate. The Director of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue has not yet made a decision.

“At this stage my only comment about the Vancouver mayoral race is that I’m giving it the serious consideration it deserves,” Sylvester said in an email.

On the other side of the legislative aisle, B.C. Liberal MLA Michael Lee is also turning down the opportunity to take the helm at city hall. The NPA had been recruiting the first-time Vancouver-Langara MLA to jump into civic politics.

READ MORE: NPA councillor Hector Bremner to run for mayor of Vancouver

“People have been talking, I know there are concerns around the city and improving our government there, but my focus is here in Victoria,” said Lee.

The only declared candidate for the NPA so far is councillor Hector Bremner.

There are no dates yet as to when Vision Vancouver and the NPA will name their mayoral candidates.

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