NDP MLA Leonard Krog might run for mayor of Nanaimo after gentle prod from Georgia Straight

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      This morning, I gasped when I saw that NDP MLA Leonard Krog is seriously considering running for mayor of Nanaimo.

      If Krog makes this move—and his announcement will come on Wednesday (June 20)—it could reduce the NDP's seat count in the legislature.

      That's because he'll likely resign his seat if he becomes mayor, creating a theoretical tie in the legislature, at least until a by-election is held.

      The NDP has 41 seats and the B.C. Greens have three seats. The B.C. Liberals have 43 MLAs.

      However one of the B.C. Liberals, Darryl Plecas, is the speaker and is not a member of the caucus.

      So why did I gasp when Krog revealed that he's thinking about running for mayor?

      It's because on June 7, I replied to a tweet by suggesting that Krog was the best mayor that Nanaimo "will never have".

      I based this on an assumption that this veteran and very intelligent MLA would remain in the NDP caucus, despite being spurned for a cabinet post by Premier John Horgan.

      Here's the original tweet.

      Here was my reply.

      It makes sense that Krog would seek the mayoralty following the chaotic rule of Bill McKay.

      Local politics in Nanaimo has been a mess over the past four years and it needs a steadier hand at the helm of city hall.

      Keep in mind that the NDP has long viewed Nanaimo as a safe seat, given its strong links to the labour movement.

      But that shouldn't engender any complacency.

      Should the B.C. Liberals win Nanaimo in a by-election, it would give them a majority government.

      Doug White of the Snuneymuxw First Nation is one of B.C.'s most respected Indigenous leaders.

      Nearly a year ago, I wrote a column laying out a scenario in which the B.C. Liberals could take back Nanaimo. Keep in mind that the B.C. Liberals held the seat from 2001 to 2005.

      I noted in the column: "The reality is that NDP premier John Horgan took Nanaimo for granted when he refused to appoint either one of his two Nanaimo MLAs, Leonard Krog and Doug Routley, to cabinet."

      Furthermore, I suggested that if the B.C. Liberals were to do something completely out of the box—like recruit a respected Indigenous leaders Doug White of the Snuneymuxw First Nation or former national chief Sean A-in-chut Atleo as candidates in Nanaimo—there's no guarantee that the NDP would sail to victory.

      Both White and Atleo have deep roots to the city and Vancouver Island University.

      For more on the impact that White or Atleo could have as B.C. Liberal candidates, read "3 out-of-the-box ideas for a B.C. Liberal comeback".