Whoever ultimately claims the NDP candidacy for the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain riding will get all of a couple of months before being shot out into a provincial election race. The riding's NDP constituency association has officially picked March 3 to hold its candidate nomination meeting, at Nestor Elementary.
The battle for the nomination is turning out to be the most contested in all the Tri-Cities, with four potential candidates putting their names forward.
The list includes punk-rocker-turned-political-hopeful Joe Keithley from DOA, former Coquitlam mayoral candidate and councillor Barrie Lynch, KidSport director and former world champion and Olympic wrestler Chris Wilson and long-time volunteer Vincent Wu.
Association president Scott McRitchie said he's pleased with the four candidates who have signed up so far.
"I think they've all done a wonderful job in this part," he told The NOW.
Though the nomination period is still open until Feb. 4, the opportunity for candidates to sign up new members has passed. McRitchie wouldn't say how many new party members have been signed up during the race, but hinted it could be in the hundreds.
"It's been a really good sign up. They've done well," he said. He also suggested the race would reinvigorate the constituency association and give the party more financial and human resources for the election campaign.
As for nomination day, McRitchie said members would have a chance to register on the day, while candidates will get a few minutes each to speak to the group before a vote.
Members must be in good standing with the party for 90 days to be eligible to vote.
Liberal MLA Doug Horne currently holds the riding.
With a provincial election slated for May, the candidate picture is starting to get a little clearer.
Coquitlam Coun. Selina Robinson was acclaimed as the NDP candidate in Coquitlam-Maillardville, while her colleague at the council table, Linda Reimer, was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate for Port Moody-Coquitlam. Robinson locked up her spot after two-time NDP MLA Diane Thorne announced she will retire.