COQUITLAM — The provincial election picture in the Tri-Cities is starting to get a little clearer.
The deadline for NDP candidates to file nomination papers for the Coquitlam-Maillardville constituency came and went, with Coquitlam city councillor Selina Robinson the lone nominee to do so.
That means when the local constituency association meets on Nov. 25, the two-term city councillor will be acclaimed as the candidate for the 2013 provincial election.
With no race to run for nomination, Robinson said she would essentially use the meeting as a “coming out party” and take the following months to prepare for the election.
“My job is to convince the people of Coquitlam-Maillardville that I can best represent them and their concerns and their needs in Victoria better than anyone else,” she told The NOW.
The spot opened up after MLA Diane Thorne announced in September she would be retiring at the end of her term.
The NDP's gender policy ensures another woman must replace the MLA.
Shortly after Thorne’s announcement, Robinson went public with her plans to make a run for provincial politics.
She said she decided to run because she feels she could have greater influence on issues that affect Coquitlam at the provincial level.
Though Robinson is waiting for challengers from the other parties, she said she is preparing for a difficult campaign next spring.
She topped the polls in the 2011 civic election, collecting 9,635 votes.
While Robinson’s acclamation answers one NDP Tri-Cities question heading into the next election, the party still needs to pick a candidate for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain.
So far, four candidates have come forward seeking the nomination, including punk rocker Joe Keithley, former Coquitlam city councillor Barrie Lynch, Olympic wrestler Chris Wilson and long-time volunteer Vincent Wu.
Coquitlam-Burke Mountain NDP Constituency Association president Scott McRitchie said there is no deadline set for the nomination period, adding he doesn’t expect a nomination meeting until early 2013.
But he is pleased with the competition so far, suggesting the diversity of the four candidates offers party members a good variety of choices when it comes time to pick one.
“It shows a little bit of reinvigoration in the party, especially in our constituency,” McRitchie said.
Liberal MLA Doug Horne currently holds the riding.
No candidates from any other parties with an open spot have publicly declared their intention to run in the next election in the Tri-Cities.