Dunbar Theatre owner Ken Charko bids to challenge Vancouver Granville MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

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      Vancouver Granville is one of the top ridings to watch in the federal election this fall.

      Incumbent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould has announced that she is running for another term, this time as an independent.

      Elected as a Liberal in 2015, Wilson-Raybould was ousted from the party after she said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others tried to pressure her in a criminal case involving Quebec engineering behemoth SNC-Lavalin.

      Liberals in Vancouver Granville are going to find a new candidate.

      According to the latest analysis by 338Canada.com, an online electoral projection model, it’s a toss-up between Wilson-Raybould and whoever Liberals choose to run, with each getting around 29 percent of the popular vote.

      Based on the projection as of June 2, Conservatives come in third with 20 percent.

      This is not going to stop Conservatives from fielding a candidate, and certainly not Ken Charko, who wants to become the party’s bet.

      The Dunbar Theatre owner revealed that he has filed papers seeking the nomination of Conservative Party for Vancouver Granville.

      “I’m not seen as super wealthy, but I’m seen as a hard worker, so the vast majority of the undecided will likely and see me as an alternative to the Liberals, which people don’t want in the riding, but still have something more than just an independent that doesn’t have a voice,” Charko told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview.

      Charko believes that another factor in his favour is the anticipation that Conservatives will form the next government.

      Charko was a co-chair in the leadership campaign of Conservative Party chief Andrew Scheer.

      Zach Segal, a former staff member with the Conservative government of then prime minister Stephen Harper, is also seeking the party’s nomination for candidate in Vancouver Granville.

      Charko ran for Vancouver city council in 2018 under the Coalition Vancouver party of former Conservative Vancouver South MP Wai Young.

      Charko previously considered running in Vancouver Quadra in the lead-up to the last federal election in 2015.