Dave Hayer won't seek reelection, even though he looked like he was running last Friday
What a difference a weekend can make. Especially if you're Dave Hayer, the veteran B.C. Liberal MLA for Surrey-Tynehead.
On Friday (July 6) evening, I ran into Hayer at an Indian Summer festival event at Surrey's SFU campus.
He was sitting right behind me for a question-and-answer session with Bollywood legend Sharmila Tagore.
To me, it appeared certain that Hayer was running for reelection against Raj Hundal, a former Vancouver park commissioner nominated as the NDP candidate.
At the Indian Summer festival, Hayer was walking along the front rows shaking hands and introducing himself to numerous people.
He also told me that he has been doing a lot of door-knocking in the constituency.
I could have sworn that he was planning his fourth campaign, even though he has never been named to the B.C. Liberal cabinet since being elected in 2001.
Today, however, Hayer emailed CKNW Radio to say that he won't be running.
Meanwhile, Hundal was out over the weekend at the Surrey Pride festival, no doubt attracting more votes for the NDP.
Hayer's decision not to run leaves me with the following questions:
• Have the B.C. Liberals lined up a more dazzling candidate in Surrey-Tynehead, basically telling Hayer that he's not welcome to seek reelection?
• Did Hayer see a poll over the weekend, which convinced him that he was doomed?
• Has Hayer learned of some life-threatening illness between Friday and Monday, which persuaded him not to run again?
• Has Premier Christy Clark decided that Hayer is a liability because he's not sufficiently beloved by the World Sikh Organization, which wants an independent homeland called Khalistan carved out of the Indian state of Punjab?
Normally, Hayer is one of the most talkative MLAs in the legislature. Today, however, he declined the Straight's request for an interview.
I take this episode as another sign that the wheels are falling off the B.C. Liberal bus. It's not a good sign for the party as it heads toward a provincial election in May 2013.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.