As Shuswap MLA George Abbott announced his 16th supporter among B.C. Liberal MLAs Wednesday, Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon counted senator and former Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell among his supporters.
Campbell sits as a Liberal senator in Ottawa, but ran with the left-leaning slate in his one term as Vancouver mayor when he was elected in 2002. He joins Conservative B.C. Senators Richard Neufeld, Gerry St. Germain and Yonah Martin in supporting Falcon.
“I’ve known and worked with Kevin as both the mayor of Vancouver and a senator for B.C.,” Campbell said. “We didn’t agree on every issue, but he was always honest and forthright with me.”
Vancouver-False Creek MLA Mary McNeil announced her support for Abbott on Wednesday, giving him the lead in support form current and former MLAs. Since her election in 2009, McNeil has served as cabinet minister responsible for the Olympics and is now minister for citizen’s services.
“This is a significant decision, and for me it came down to style of leadership,” McNeil said. “In the time I have been working alongside George, I have been impressed by his depth and range of experience, and his ability to listen to and find common ground to those with diverse interests and perspectives.”
Falcon’s B.C. Liberal caucus supporters include Rich Coleman (Fort Langley-Aldergrove), Iain Black (Port Moody-Coquitlam), Stephanie Cadieux (Surrey-Panorama), Ron Cantelon (Parksville-Qualicum), Dave Hayer (Surrey-Tynehead), Douglas Horne (Coquitlam-Burke Mountain), Rob Howard (Richmond Centre), John Les (Chilliwack), Joan McIntyre (West Vancouver-Sea-to-Sky), Mary Polak (Langley), Pat Pimm (Peace River North), Marc Dalton (Maple Ridge-Mission) and John Yap (Richmond-Steveston).
Abbott has support of current MLAs McNeil, Steve Thomson (Kelowna-Mission), Bill Bennett (Kootenay East), Eric Foster (Vernon Monashee), Murray Coell (Saanich North and the Islands), Randy Hawes (Abbotsford-Mission) Kash Heed (Vancouver-Fraserview), Gordon Hogg (Surrey-White Rock), Richard Lee (Burnaby North), Norm Letnick (Kelowna-Lake Country), Don McRae (Comox Valley), John Rustad (Nechako Lakes), John Slater (Boundary-Similkameen), Terry Lake (Kamloops-South Thompson), Jane Thornthwaite (North Vancouver-Seymour) and John Van Dongen (Abbotsford South).
Former deputy premier Christy Clark was supported at her announcement by Burnaby-Lougheed MLA Harry Bloy. She has since added a political newcomer, former CTV anchor Pamela Martin, as her campaign’s membership chair.
Clark’s economic advisors include former EnCana CEO Gwyn Morgan, former BC Hydro CEO Larry Bell, B.C. Progress Board chair Gerry Martin and John Sheridan, CEO of Ballard Power Systems.
B.C. Liberal candidates have until Feb. 4 to sign up members who will be eligible to vote for the new leader on Feb. 26.