NDP candidate bows out

It's not the ideal situation, but local members of the NDP's Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding association are meeting tonight to figure out how to replace Gina Myhill-Jones.

Myhill-Jones officially stepped down this morning as the party's candidate for the 2019 election, but the local party executive is moving quickly, according to riding association president Bill Sundhu.

"I will be meeting with our executive tonight," he tells KamloopsMatters. "We'll be drawing up a game plan and advancing very quickly."

Sundhu is hoping the delay isn't long, and expects to have a candidate in place by Labour Day weekend, which is likely when the writ will drop. Sooner is better, he adds, as literature needs to be printed and new signs need to be made with the candidate's name.

"We're motivated to get a candidate in place as soon as possible."

He says while the announcement was only made today, some names are already being discussed.

"We are already talking about potential people stepping forward. I do know two or three people who have expressed interest in generally running."

However, no names have been released as of publication.

While Myhill-Jones’ exit does throw a bit of a wrench into things, Sundhu says the party will still be a contender come fall.

"There’s a lot of variables that go into the final outcome of a federal election," he says. "The candidate is one piece of the puzzle."

One school of thought suggests local candidates account for 10 to 15 per cent of the voting public's decision making, Sundhu says. Other factors include federal leadership, platforms and party loyalty.

Speaking of federal leadership, whether or not NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will come to Kamloops before the election is still up in the air, and will be determined by the party leadership, Sundhu says.

"We're hopeful we'll have him here," he says. "But that depends on the leader's tour."

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