NDP MLA Leonard Krog announces bid for Nanaimo mayor

VICTORIA — Longtime New Democrat MLA Leonard Krog has announced his bid for mayor of Nanaimo, a move that could put his seat in the provincial legislature up for a byelection and imperil the fragile minority government of Premier John Horgan.

Krog, who has spent 18 years as an MLA, said he was overwhelmed by an outpouring of support across the city’s political spectrum asking him to run for mayor.

He said he will continue to serve as the region’s MLA through to the Oct. 20 municipal election, but will also ask not to be paid his MLA salary for the month-long municipal campaign.

“I will continue to attend all the community events, I’ll be in my constituency office every day,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

If he wins the mayoral race, Krog said he will then resign his provincial seat. If he loses, he will continue as Nanaimo MLA.

Krog said many people have asked him to restore stability to a Nanaimo city hall that has suffered several years of serious dysfunction, police investigations and firings.

“People believe I can put together and run and manage a good council,” Krog said. “And this is not like an ordinary civic election. If this community had a great council and things were humming along nobody would have asked me and I wouldn’t have given it consideration. But that’s not the facts. The fact is we have a city in trouble, is the kindest thing I would say, that has become a bit of a laughing stock.”

A Krog victory in Nanaimo’s municipal race would spark a byelection that could dramatically change the balance of power in the provincial legislature.

The confidence deal between the NDP and B.C. Greens currently gives the two parties a combined 44 seats, compared to 42 Liberals and one independent (Speaker Darryl Plecas). Should the Liberals win Krog’s seat in a byelection, they would tie the NDP-Green alliance with 43 seats, forcing Plecas as speaker to cast tiebreaking votes. Such a scenario could hamstring the ability of the Horgan administration to pass legislation, and potentially lead to its early defeat.

Krog dismissed such a possibility, noting that the Nanaimo riding has voted NDP in almost every election since 1963. The only two exceptions occurred in 1969 when popular Nanaimo mayor Frank Ney won the seat for the Social Credit party, and in 2001 when the B.C. Liberals swept across the province reducing the NDP to …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics

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