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Candidates for Richmond byelection switch up party affiliations

Five candidates so far have registered for the May 29 byelection to election one councillor

Five candidates have filed their paperwork so far for the May 29 byelection for one council seat.

However, while all five have run in previous elections, their party affiliation might not look the same this time round.

Bakery owner and developer Sunny Ho, who ran in the 2018 and 2014 municipal elections, is taking another run at securing a seat on Richmond city council, this time with no party affiliation.

In the 2018 election, he ran as a Richmond First candidate but wasn’t elected while Couns. Bill McNulty and Linda McPhail won re-election as Richmond First candidates.

Andy Hobbs was also a Richmond First candidate in 2018, but this time he is not running under any party banner, saying he prefers being an independent and the “latitude” it gives him.

Karina Reid ran unsuccessfully for school trustee in the 2018 election along with Ken Hamaguchi, Heather Larson and Sandra Nixon under the Richmond Education Party (REP).

This time, Reid is running as the RITE candidate with official endorsement from Richmond Citizens’ Association (RCA), the party Harold Steves belongs to. RCA isn’t running its own candidate in the byelection.

In the last election, RCA and RITE joined forces just a few weeks before voting day to support each others’ candidates.

In the end, RCA candidates Steves and Kelly Greene were elected as were RITE candidates Carol Day and Michael Wolfe.

Hamaguchi said he will continue as both a trustee and councillor if elected as not to trigger a byelection for the board of education. He is running under the newly named Richmond Education and Community Party, formerly REP.

John Roston also ran for council in 2018, however, like last time, he is running as an independent.

Whoever is elected to fill the council seat will be in office until the next general election in October 2022.

Nominations for the byelection close on Friday at 4 p.m.

In addition to general voting day on May 29, advance voting will take place on May 15, May 19, May 20 and May 22.

More information is available at