For a political newcomer, Ken Sim projects astonishing poise.
He may be considered a long shot by some for the mayoral nomination of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA), but the Vancouver businessman is having none of that.
“I don’t feel like I’m an underdog at all,” Sim told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview Thursday (May 31).
This weekend, NPA members will decide whether Sim or park commissioner John Coupar or city hall watchdog Glen Chernen will be their candidate for mayor in the October 20 election.
The last among the three to enter the race, Sim believes he will come out first.
“I’m, you know, right in the thick of things,” he said.
Coupar has won the support of several incumbent elected NPA politicians. Former mayor Philip Owen is also among his supporters.
Chernen enjoys the support of members of the Housing Action for Local Taxpayers (HALT), which has blamed foreign buyers for the expensive housing market in the city.
Sim is backed by former NPA president and donor Peter Armstrong.
“I feel very confident,” Sim said.
Unlike Coupar, now on his second term on park board, and Chernen, a former council candidate with the Cedar Party, Sim has not run for public office.
Sim’s entry into the NPA mayoral contest has put him closer in the company of former high school classmates.
Sim, Chernen and NPA president Gregory Baker attended Sir Winston Churchill Secondary. He transferred to another school where he eventually graduated.
“I graduated from Magee [Secondary School] in 1988, but I went to Churchill from ‘83 to ‘87. So we all went to the same high school,” Sim said.
According to him, they haven’t kept in contact so much since high school.
“We haven’t really met too often. You know, Glen and I met once… in December, but besides that we don’t really…meet too often,” Sim said.
When asked, Sim confirmed that he attended Chernen’s wedding.
Sim declined to respond either way if he is open to the idea of seeing either or both of Chernen and Coupar run in the council slate of the NPA if the two lose to Sim in the mayoral nomination.
“Right now, I’m just focused getting the nomination for mayor,” he said. “After that, you know, I would, as the mayoral candidate, I would want a united NPA that’s inclusive and brings everyone together.”
Talking about an inclusive NPA, Sim said that he would welcome the support of everyone, including supporters of councillor Hector Bremner, who was disqualified by the board from the nomination contest.
“I hope they would…review all the candidates and then vote for me,” Sim said about Bremner’s supporters who have valid NPA memberships and can cast their nomination ballots on Sunday (June 3) at the Hellenic Centre (4500 Arbutus Street).
Neither Chernen nor Coupar responded to requests for an interview about this weekend's event.