The B.C. NDP is fielding former Vancouver city councillor George Chow in the election this year.
Chow will run in Vancouver-Fraserview, a constituency that New Democrats have not been able to win back since their party was almost completely routed in 2001.
Chow, who has served for two terms as Vancouver councillor, acknowledged that he has a tough job ahead.
Vancouver-Fraserview is held by B.C. Liberal and cabinet member MLA Suzanne Anton.
“I love the challenge,” Chow told the Straight in a phone interview Tuesday (February 21).
The former Vancouver councillor described Anton as a "strong opponent".
Chow may be able to pull it off on the May 9 election.
In the last provincial election in 2013, Anton won Vancouver-Fraserview by a margin of only 470 votes.
The South Vancouver constituency is in the top five list of electoral districts that had the closest results in 2013.
The four others are Port Moody-Coquitlam (437 votes. Winner: Linda Reimer, B.C. Liberal), Delta North (203 votes. Scott Hamilton, B.C. Liberal), Surrey-Fleetwood (200 votes. Peter Fassbender, B.C. Liberal), and Coquitlam-Maillardville (41 votes. Selina Mae Robinson, B.C. NDP).
According to Chow, the B.C. NDP asked him to run because he is “familiar with the area”.
“I have a lot of rapport with the citizens there,” he said.
Chow recalled that in the 2008 municipal election, he received the most number of votes for any candidate from the area.
According to Chow, he is scheduled to be acclaimed as B.C. NDP candidate on Saturday (February 25) at the South Vancouver Adult Day Centre (3076 East 49th Avenue).
The B.C. Greens have yet to name a candidate in Vancouver-Fraserview.
The political careers of Chow and Anton have intersected in the past.
The two were elected to Vancouver council for the first time in 2005, with Chow in the Vision Vancouver team and Anton with the ruling Non-Partisan Association at the time.
They won a second term in council in the 2008 civic election that was taken by Vision Vancouver.
Chow decided not to run for a third term in 2011 and sought the B.C. NDP nomination in Vancouver-Fraserview.
Chow lost the nomination to Gabriel Yiu, who eventually did not succeed against Anton in the 2013 provincial election.
Anton, for her part, ran for city mayor in 2011, and lost to Vision’s Gregor Robertson.
“She’s a very hardworking person,” Chow said about Anton.
Chow said that he looks forward to engaging Anton in the campaign about the top four issues he has heard from voters of Vancouver-Fraserview: housing, health care, transportation, and child care.
“There are a lot of issues that we should be talking about, but I don’t think her government was talking about any issues at all,” Chow said.
Chow ran in 2013 with the B.C. NDP in Vancouver-Langara, and lost to Moira Stilwell of the B.C. Liberals.