Robin Smith, the former president and CEO of the BC Dairy Association, is taking on Jordan Sturdy in the race to replace MLA Joan McIntyre.
The North Vancouver resident's nomination papers were completed on Monday, Jan. 21 at the BC Liberal Party office, something Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy did back in October.
Smith said he retired from the dairy association in August and found himself with some time to spare — time he is now dedicating to politics.
He has less than five weeks to familiarize himself with and become known in the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky riding, which stretches from 29th Street in West Vancouver to Darcy at the north end of the riding.
"I've been interested in politics for many years," Smith said, moments after submitting his nomination papers. "I've done a lot of work with government."
He said there was no opportunity to run for the BC Liberal party in his home riding because the current MLA, Ralph Sultan was reappointed as the candidate for West Vancouver-Capilano in September. He said his motivation for seeking a Liberal party nomination included his desire to ensure the NDP doesn't win a majority when British Columbians go to the polls on May 14.
"I had a real concern about government changing to an NDP government," said Smith from his home. "I've been through all the NDP regimes and I'm very concerned about it. I felt I should put my name forward and see what I can do."
Because Smith lives just outside West Vancouver he said he is thinking of possibly moving to a home inside the riding he hopes to represent. He noted that for 14 years he did live in West Vancouver.
"The MLA I have here, Ralph Sultan, doesn't live in this riding," said Smith. He noted that Sultan actually lives in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky. Smith is confident because he said he's well known on the North Shore.
The newly declared candidate said he is looking forward to meeting Sturdy. "We're in the same party, we're on the same team," Smith said of the Pemberton mayor.
He categorized the competition with Sturdy as a campaign that isn't personal.
"I know it's an uphill battle," Smith said of the head start Sturdy has in the race to win the Liberal nomination to campaign for the May election. "What the heck, it will make it interesting.
"I think it's good for the process, it's good for Jordan and it's good for myself, it's good for the party and good for the people of West Van-Sea to Sky."
Smith has a communications team and he said his strategy for winning the Liberal nomination would be released soon.
Members of the BC Liberal party who live in the riding will nominate their candidate for the May election at the conclusion of a vote set for Feb. 15 and 16.
Sturdy claimed through a news release earlier this month that he has increased the Liberal party membership in the riding by 25 per cent. According to Sturdy, he has signed up close to 400 new party members in the past three months.
While the BC Liberals now have two people vying to become the next MLA in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, the other political parties haven't announced anything about their preparations for the next provincial election.