Sims and Elmore face off in Vancouver-Kensington NDP nomination battle

The NDP’s nomination contest in Vancouver-Kensington is promising to be one of the most exciting races leading up to the May 12 provincial election.

The race between Jinny Sims and Mable Elmore is so hot that the constituency association had to ask the NDP leadership for approval to hold the nomination meeting later than March 1, the date the party wanted all candidates to be in place.

According to Stephen Elliott-Buckley, a member of the constituency association’s executive board, the two aspirants have signed up hundreds of members and the only way to make them all eligible to vote was to hold the balloting on March 22. He explained that under the party’s rules, members have to be in the roster for at least 90 days before they can participate in a nomination.

“It’s a highly competitive nomination so far,” Elliott-Buckley told the Straight.

Sims succeeded outgoing Vancouver-Kensington NDP MLA David Chudnovsky as president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. She led public teachers in a strike in 2005 to press for higher wages and smaller class sizes.

Elmore, who has been a bus driver for a decade, is a member of Local 111 of the Canadian Auto Workers. She coordinates the union’s “More Buses Now” campaign. She is also on the executive of the Vancouver and District Labour Council.

Both candidates are seeking to represent a strongly multicultural constituency.

Sims was born in India, and she was nine when her family moved to England. She immigrated to Canada in 1975.

Elmore was born and raised in Canada. Her mother was an immigrant from the Philippines.

Under the NDP’s equity rules, the party has to nominate a woman in constituencies where the incumbent NDP MLA is stepping down.