Support for candidates in the Richmond byelection have split along broad partisan lines.
Karina Reid has received endorsement from NDP MLAs, the Vancouver and District Labour Council as well as from left-leaning councillors, while Andy Hobbs has been endorsed by the sitting mayor, three right-leaning councillors, a BC Liberal MLA as well as two high-profile retired police officers.
Endorsements for Hobbs, a retired VPD superintendent, have come from Kash Heed, former Vancouver Police Department (VPD) superintendent, former West Vancouver police chief and former solicitor general, and Jim Chu, a retired VPD chief constable who has known Hobbs since they both joined the police force in 1979.
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie announced his support for Hobbs several weeks ago and this week Couns. Alexa Loo, Linda McPhail and Bill McNulty joined him in endorsing Hobbs. McPhail and McNulty are both Richmond First councillors.
Hobbs previously served as a school trustee, elected under Richmond First, but he is now running as an independent.
In the meantime, Couns. Carol Day and Michael Wolfe, both of whom belong to RITE Richmond, are endorsing Reid in the byelection.
Richmond Citizens’ Association (RCA) is not running a candidate but the party came out early to support Reid, a RITE candidate.
Reid is a vocal community advocate for social justice issues and the environment.
Teresa Wat, MLA for Richmond North Centre, and Linda Reid, former MLA for Richmond South Centre, have declared they are backing Hobbs while Aman Singh, Kelly Greene and Henry Yao, all newly elected Richmond NDP MLAs, have publicly endorsed Reid.
The byelection was triggered by Greene's election to the B.C. Legislature.
In the meantime, Coun. Chak Au’s Richmond Community Coalition (RCC) is running a former school trustee as its candidate, Jonathan Ho.
Byelection candidate Sunny Ho is running independently in the May 29 byelection, but he previously ran as a Richmond First candidate.
Also running are Dennis Page, Jennifer Huang, Kay Hale – who has run provincially as a BC Conservative – Mark Lee, John Roston and current school board trustee Ken Hamaguchi, who is running under the Richmond Community and Education Party.
About 3,800 voters cast a ballot in 10 advance polls in the Richmond byelection over the past week.
Furthermore, about 970 mail-in ballots - about 45 per cent - of 2,160 requested ballots have been returned.
As of February, there were 140,646 registered voters in Richmond.
Between advance polls and returned mail-in ballots, about 3.4 per cent of registered voters in Richmond have cast a ballot so far.
General voting day is May 29. For information on how to vote, go to Richmond.ca/elections.