After receiving endorsements from veteran members of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party, Regina Lakeview MLA Carla Beck has officially launched her campaign Thursday to become the next leader of the party.
“I grew up on a farm. I’ve never been afraid of hard work and I’ve spent my whole life bringing people together,” Beck said Thursday in announcing her candidacy.
“I believe in Saskatchewan. Our province – like our party – has a proud history of punching above our weight. We are known for looking out for our neighbours and finding solutions to the challenges we face with pragmatism, cooperation and plain hard work.”
Beck has launched a new website carlaforleader.ca. Her stated mission statement is to: “Bring people together from across the province to make our party stronger, form government and deliver the help people need.”
Ryan Meili announced he was stepping down as leader of the party in February. Up until now, all potential candidates had declined to make a leadership run.
That included prominent MLAs Nicole Sarauer and Trent Wotherspoon – both have shifted their support to Beck.
“The Sask. Party is tired and out of ideas for building unity. We have a lot of work to do to bring people across the province together,” Beck said.
“We need to show people across the province – whether they’ve supported us in the past or not – that the Saskatchewan NDP is ready to govern and deliver again.”
Beck was born in Weyburn and grew up on a mixed farm near Lang, Sask. She assumed office in 2016 after being voted into the legislative assembly.
Leadership candidates must provide signatures from at least 100 Saskatchewan NDP members from at least 20 constituencies, half of whom must be women or gender diverse, according to the party.
They must also provide a non-refundable registration fee of $4,000, receive approval from the party to seek the leadership and limit campaign expenditures to no more than $200,000.
As of Thursday, there were no other candidates running.
If Beck were to win the race she would be the fifth NDP leader in the past five elections.
The party has announced a leadership convention will be held in Regina in late June, but an exact date and location have not been announced.