Independent mayoral candidate Bob Kasting has decided to throw his support “unconditionally” behind the NPA’s Kirk LaPointe.
At a news conference in downtown Vancouver today (November 6), Kasting said he has opted to bow out of the election campaign and back LaPointe because he sees him as the best candidate to lead a “mixed council”.
“For a variety of reasons, I don’t have the ability to be able to convince the people of Vancouver that they should vote for me as the Vancouver mayor,” said Kasting. “So what I’ve done is I’ve recognized the person who can do that is Kirk LaPointe.”
LaPointe said while he and Kasting didn’t know each other before the campaign, the two candidates agree on many points.
“We want the same things for the city,” LaPointe told reporters.
Kasting noted he is endorsing LaPointe as a candidate and not the NPA slate.
"I'm supporting him because I think he's the person who can beat Gregor [Robertson]," he said.
"I don't agree with everything Kirk says...I'm not here to support the NPA, I'm here to support Kirk, and I actually feel that the best interest of the city is a mixed council."
Cedar Party council candidate Glen Chernen, who bowed out of the mayoral race in September to back Kasting, described LaPointe as “the only alternative” to Gregor Robertson at this point in the campaign.
“He’s saying all the right things, a lot of similar things as I am,” Chernen said in an interview. “I do not agree with him on everything, but I will support him as being the mayor. I think that he’s someone that I can work with, and my support does not extend to the entire party, by any means.”
Chernen says he hopes to secure support for the Cedar Party’s council candidates, and wants to see votes “sprinkled around” to other parties.
Kasting’s name is already on the ballot as a mayoral candidate, and advance voting stations have been open since Tuesday (November 4).
According to Vancouver chief election officer Janice MacKenzie, the Vancouver Charter requires approval from the B.C. minister responsible for local government for a candidate to withdraw at this stage of the election campaign.