Peter Fassbender will be running for the B.C. Liberals, but not in his home town, the three-term Langley City mayor confirmed.
Fassbender officially announced his candidacy at the Fleetwood Community Centre Friday morning, to contest the Surrey-Fleetwood riding. The riding is currently held by the NDP's Jagrup Brar.
Fassbender isn't running in the City where he's been politically active for more than a decade, as he supports incumbents Coleman and Polak, both prominent cabinet ministers, Fassbender said.
Polak, minister of transportation, holds the Langley riding, which includes the City. Coleman, minister of energy, mines, and housing, has represented Fort Langley-Aldergrove for more than a decade.
"There is no opportunity for me to run in the Langleys," Fassbender said.
However, he believes that at the provincial and federal level, it's less important for politicians to live in the riding they represent, Fassbender said.
"I've also worked extremely hard for the entire region and the province," he said.
Fassbender said he has been approached by the Liberals about running, and felt now was the time to jump into the provincial milieu.
Facing an NDP incumbent while the Liberals are behind in the polls doesn't phase him, he said.
"I don't care about polls," Fassbender said.
He said it is about sending a positive message to the Surrey-Fleetwood riding.
He also said he was passionate about both Surrey and Langley.
"I'm not a parachute candidate," he said. "I care about Surrey."
Fassbender was raised in Surrey before moving east.
For his official announcement, the City mayor was surrounded by Liberal MLAs, including Surrey-Panorama MLA Stephanie Cadieux, and both MLAs from Langley, Mary Polak and Rich Coleman. Langley and Surrey residents and Liberal supporters turned out to see the event.
Fassbender's most public role outside of Langley has been his involvement with the TransLink Mayor's Council.
He had served as the chair and vice-chair of the Mayor's Council and was one of the more vocal members of the group.
Fassbender was also involved with negotiating the RCMP contracts with Ottawa.
Municipalities that rely on RCMP for their policing can face enormous cost impacts from the contracts.
Until the May 14 general election, Fassbender will be both a candidate for the riding and mayor of Langley City.
Despite the recent poll numbers showing the NDP leading the Liberals by a still-considerable margin, Fassbender believes he can win back the riding from the incumbent.
If he wins, he will step down as mayor of the City, he said. Legally, he could continue to do both jobs, but he isn't considering that.
"I'm quite pumped, quite excited," Fassbender said.
An official candidate selection meeting to nominate Fassbender will be held Feb. 24 at the Eaglequest Coyote Creek Golf Course. Fassbender is expected to be acclaimed.