The race for leadership of the B.C. Liberal Party is getting a little crowded.
This afternoon (September 22), Michael Lee became the fifth candidate to send a clear signal that he is running to head B.C.’s Opposition.
“On Tuesday [September 26], 11 a.m. at the Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver, I will make a special announcement,” he wrote on Twitter. “I hope you can join me.”
Lee is the Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Langara. He’s new to elected office, having only joined the legislature this year. But Lee is no stranger to politics.
He worked in the office of former prime minister Kim Campbell during her time as justice minister. Lee was also a membership chair of the B.C. Liberal Party, chair of former NPA councilllor Peter Ladner's 2002 campaign for mayor, and a youth organizer for the Progressive Conservatives.
Yesterday (September 22), another Liberal MLA from Vancouver, Sam Sullivan, officially threw his hat in the ring for the top spot in the Liberal party. Sullivan told the Straight he’s running to give the party a "stronger urban and youth focus".
"A lot of the urban people and the youth defected to either the NDP or the Green party last time, so we need to do better," he explained.
Sullivan has been the MLA representing Vancouver–False Creek since he was elected in 2005. Before that, he served one term as the mayor of Vancouver.
Andrew Wilkinson, a third MLA from B.C.’s first city, has also made clear he’s running. Wilkinson is the Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena. He was first elected to the B.C. legislature in 2013.
From outside Vancouver, there are two politicians who have scheduled media conferences to declare they’re running for the Liberal leadership.
The first is Dianne Watts, a Conservative MP representing South Surrey-White Rock and former mayor of Surrey.
The second is Mike Bernier, Liberal MLA for Peace River South and a former mayor of Dawson Creek.
The leader of the B.C. Liberals will be selected via an internal party vote, with the winner scheduled to be announced on February 4, 2018, at a convention in Vancouver.