Larry Day, Cariboo-Chilcotin NDP Constituency Association vice-president, says he believes the six leadership candidates hoping to replace Carole James form a well-round group.
He adds they are all charismatic and bring different qualities and qualifications to the table.
Days says he believes Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth and Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix are the front-runners in the campaign.
He notes Farnworth has been a long-standing MLA with a lot of experience. “He’s more well-known on the Coast and worked a long time in municipal government.”
Dix has been the health critic, and Day says he has extensive knowledge of health care.
“He’s done a lot of work in the Interior through Charlie [Wyse] in bringing our issues in health care to the forefront. Adrian is very familiar with the Interior.”
Day says Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan is popular within the party and is very charismatic and well liked.
“He has to gain popularity in the Interior to be a real contender. It’s one of the things we are looking for is somebody who knows the background around the Interior of British Columbia, and isn’t just Vancouver focused.”
Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons, Day says, is not well-known beyond the Sunshine Coast.
“He’s another charismatic fellow, well-liked but he doesn’t have the provincial exposure.”
Day says Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali has been around for a long time and was transport minister in the ‘90s.
“He’s another charismatic fellow and well-liked in the party. It’s just a matter of whether he can go up against the competition provided by Farnworth and Dix, who I believe are the strongest candidates.”
North Vancouver marijuana activist Dana Larsen is the other candidate, but Day says he doesn’t think he’ll be a serious contender.
“It’s difficult to take him serious with his background, and that’s what he’s facing.”
Day adds he was a bit disappointed there wasn’t a female candidate. “It would have been nice to see the gender equity we’ve been working for so long, but maybe it will happen next time around.”
While there had been some speculation Jenny Kwan, who led the group to oust James, might run for the leadership, Day says she decided to focus all of her attention on her constituents.
“Good for her, as that’s what MLAs are supposed to do.”