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Richmond byelection candidates draw support from mayor, MLAs, labour council

Three Richmond NDP MLAs and the mayor have endorsed candidates in the upcoming byelection.

Byelection candidates are getting big names behind them leading up to the May 29 general voting day.

Karina Reid, running under the Richmond Independent Team of Electors (RITE) banner, has been endorsed by the Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC) as well as Richmond’s three BC NDP MLAs.

Meanwhile, Richmond’s long-serving mayor, Malcolm Brodie is backing Andy Hobbs, who is running independently but has run under the Richmond First banner in the past and served as a Richmond First school trusteee.

Brodie said he’s backing Hobbs this time because of his long public service as a former Vancouver police and superintendent, his volunteer work and the fact he’s a long-time Richmond resident with family in the community.

The fact that Hobbs is running as an independent also weighed into Brodie’s decision.

“As an independent person, his sole criterion is going to be what is best for the community and that’s how he will make his decisions,” Brodie said.

In addition to Brodie, Coun. Linda McPhail is also endorsing Hobbs with whom she served on school board  for two terms.

The Labour Council is a coalition of unions and regularly endorses left-leaning candidates, this time backing Reid in the Richmond byelection.

In its online endorsement, the VDLC said Reid will be a “strong progressive voice” and will focus on addressing inequities and gaps in services that have been “highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Reid is also being endorsed by the Richmond Citizens’ Association (RCA), which is not running its own candidate.

However, long-time RCA Coun. Harold Steves said he’s not personally endorsing any candidate, adding that several of the candidates are his friends.

“I’m not going to choose among friends and I think they’re all good (candidates),” he added.

The three new BC NDP MLAs, however, Kelly Greene – who resigned from council when elected provincially in October triggering the byelection – as well as Henry Yao and Aman Singh are publicly endorsing Reid.

There are 10 candidates running in the byelection. In addition to Reid and Hobbs, Jonathan Ho is running with Richmond Community Coalition (RCC) and Ken Hamaguchi is running with the Richmond Community and Education Party. Independent candidates are John Roston, Sunny Ho, Mark Lee, Kay Hale, Jennifer Huang and Dennis Page.

For more information on the byelection, click here.


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