With eight weeks and counting before voters' head to the polls in the next provincial election, the race in the Tri-Cities is heating up.
The former chair of the C3 Korean Canadian Society, Steve Kim, has been acclaimed as the B.C. Liberal candidate for Coquitlam-Maillardville.
The small business owner will face off against Coquitlam city councillor and NDP candidate Selina Robinson for the seat, which was opened following the retirement of MLA Diane Thorne.
"It's certainly something I've been thinking about and working towards for some time," Kim told The NOW about his decision to enter politics.
The long-time Coquitlam resident and Centennial Secondary grad said he intends to focus on the economy during the campaign, specifically on creating well-paying jobs, keeping the economy on the right track and the government's balanced budget.
"I really do see that as a fundamental message that I'll be talking to people with," he said. Kim also offered his take on the ethnic memo scandal surrounding the Liberal government.
Though he acknowledged the issue has come up when talking to residents, he argued every party or organization uses some form of an ethnic-outreach strategy.
"To me, it's about every group getting empowered and being proactive so that their voice is heard," he said.
Kim said he intends to reach out to the different groups in Coquitlam-Maillardville to make sure they get educated and involved in the political process.
Premier Christy Clark sent out this tweet Monday following the announcement of Kim's acclamation: "Proud to welcome small biz owner, community leader Steve Kim to our team."
He is the third confirmed Liberal candidate in the four Tri-Cities provincial constituencies.
Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MLA Doug Horne will defend his seat against NDP hopeful Chris Wilson, while Coquitlam city councillor Linda Reimer will take on Port Moody-Coquitlam NDP MLA Joe Trasolini.
A Liberal candidate has yet to be declared for Port Coquitlam against NDP MLA Mike Farnworth.
In 2009, the race in Coquitlam-Maillardville was tight, with Thorne topping the polls over Liberal challenger Dennis Marsden by less than 700 votes.