Liberals ready to select candidate
The final piece of the political puzzle in Kamloops will soon be in place as talk of a looming federal election continues.
The Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Liberal riding association is getting set to pick a candidate at the beginning of February.
The Grits are the only party locally without a candidate in place.
Don Graham, the riding association's president, said the search has been ongoing for quite some time and the party has spoken with a number of possible candidates.
So far, only Murray Todd, the former president of the riding association, has publicly put his name forward as a candidate, having made his announcement in August.
Though he wouldn't say who or how many people had come forward to show interest in the candidacy, Graham indicated a number of potential Liberal flag-bearers have dropped out or changed their mind.
"It's still ongoing and it's still open," he said of the candidate search.
Graham said the move to pick a candidate in a few short weeks has not been spurred by a possible spring election.
"We've just put a plan in place and we're following that," he said, adding the riding is confident the eventual candidate will be a formidable force in the next election.
Party members will get a chance to vote for their choice at a candidate-selection meeting.
Graham said the party is in the process of updating its membership lists, but noted there were about 200 members in the riding at the end of 2010.
The Liberals, with Kamloops lawyer Ken Sommerfeld as their candidate for the second time in 2008, finished a distant third in the last election, picking up just 10 per cent of the vote.
Meanwhile, the rest of the political parties in the riding are steps ahead of the Grits.
The NDP has already chosen Michael Crawford as its candidate, while the Green party has put forward Kevin Ortner to challenge Conservative MP Cathy McLeod.