Nanaimo mayoral candidate Norm Smith says he will instead run as a candidate for city council, after Leonard Krog’s announcement that he has entered the race for mayor.
Smith says that Krog is a “very strong candidate” and that “finishing in second place would not allow me to reach my goal of helping the city rebuild”.
The announcement came Friday after Smith says a poll he ran indicated that 80 per cent wanted him to run for council and 20 per cent wanted him to continue to the race for mayor.
“If I am successful in winning a council seat, I can reach my goal of helping the city and gain the experience for the future,” said Smith in a statement.
“Mr. Krog has a strong following, the experience of an elected official, and the merits and ability to become an excellent mayor. As a retired police officer, I was trained to always evaluate your situation and re-evaluate when the circumstances change.”
Longtime provincial New Democrat Leonard Krog announced his bid to become the mayor of Nanaimo on Wednesday.
Krog said he has was mulling over the idea of running to become Nanaimo’s mayor for several years but made his decision because of the political dysfunction at city hall.
“I think the final thing was that many people said to me ‘look I will run for council if you run for mayor but I’m not going to do it if you won’t’ and these are people I respect. These are people who would make excellent councillors,” Krog said.
If Krog becomes mayor, he will resign his seat and a byelection would be required in the Nanaimo riding.
It is considered a safe NDP seat but a loss to the Liberals would leave Premier John Horgan’s minority government tied with the Opposition at 43 seats, with one independent.
The NDP-Green Party alliance currently has a razor-thin majority in the legislature.