Could David Levi become B.C.'s next finance minister?
For almost two decades, New Democrats have looked upon financier David Levi as a possible political saviour.
Levi, a former stockbroker and son of former NDP cabinet minister Norm Levi, chose instead to make piles of dough as a venture capitalist.
Today, all that changed with his announcement that he is "transitioning" from his position as president and CEO of GrowthWorks, which manages the Working Opportunity Fund.
He will remain on the board and on the WOF advisory council, but he's stepping aside as CEO in March, 2009.
That's just two months before the next provincial election.
This week, an Angus Reid poll showed the NDP leading the B.C. Liberals by three percent. If these numbers hold up, the NDP would form a majority because of the way votes are distributed across the province.
The B.C. Liberals generally win with huge majorities on the North Shore and in Vancouver-Quilchena, so they need to be at least a couple percentage points or more ahead of the NDP if they want to form government.
Vancouver-Kensington NDP MLA David Chudnovsky has announced that he won't seek reelection in 2009, which opens up a possible winnable seat for Levi.
However, Levi could choose instead to run in Vancouver-Point Grey, where he lives, against Premier Gordon Campbell.
If Levi runs and wins, he's the odds-on favourite to become finance minister in a Carole James-led government. If Levi runs and wins, but the NDP loses, he along with Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix would be automatic frontrunners in the race to succeed James.
Levi, a close friend of Canadian Labour Congress president Ken Georgetti, chaired the Vancouver-Richmond regional health board before the NDP was defeated in 2001.
The Straight has requested an interview with Levi to determine if he is thinking of running in the next election. We'll keep you posted if he decides to return the call.