The sooner the better.
That’s the sentiment from the NDP’s Kamloops-North Thompson constituency president Rick Turner following word the party’s executive has given its blessing for a nomination meeting on July 23.
“Waiting until the writ is dropped to pick your candidate is leaving it too late,” he said.
The local constituency had planned a nomination meeting for June, but it was postponed by the party’s executive.
Turner said the new date still gives the candidate a chance to get ready if a provincial election is called this fall.
As it stands, NDP supporters in Kamloops-North Thompson will likely have at least a pair of candidates to choose from as Cecile McVittie and Kathy Kendall have put their names forward as candidates.
A third potential candidate is still considering his options.
FightHST organizer Chad Moats said he is considering running for the nomination, but won’t make a final decision until the last minute.
He said he wants to make sure he has the support and funding necessary to stage a campaign for the nomination.
Aspiring candidates have until 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, to file their application.
Turner noted Kendall’s bid has been approved by the party, while McVittie’s application is still being processed.
Turner said three other people have expressed interest in the job, but have yet to submit nomination papers.
At the time of the postponement, Turner blamed himself for the delay, noting as president he hadn’t gone through the proper process needed to get approval from the provincial party for a nomination meeting.
Now the plan is for the constituency to hold nominations in Clearwater and Barriere that day, then join Kamloops-South Thompson members for a meeting in the city.
By combining the two nomination meetings, Turner said the ridings hope the turnout will be greater and attract a high-profile member to attend — quite possibly party leader Adrian Dix.
The race for the NDP nomination in Kamloops-South Thompson won’t be quite as close to call.
Tom Friedman, who ran as the NDP candidate in the 2009 provincial election, is the only person to put his name forward.
Kamloops-South Thompson constituency president Ruth Fane doesn’t expect anyone else to come forward before the deadline.