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Queers get NDP nod to run in May provincial election

McGinn to face Liberal MacDiarmid again May 12

Voters in the Vancouver-Fairview riding will be facing a re-match at the ballot box in the May 12 provincial election.

Queer NDP candidate Jenn McGinn is running once again against Liberal Margaret MacDiarmid who lost to McGinn in an Oct 29 by-election to fill the vacated riding after Gregor Robertson, running on an NDP ticket, stepped down as MLA to run successfully for the Vancouver mayoralty.

McGinn, who became the first out lesbian in the legislature, took 46.98 per cent of the vote to MacDiarmid’s 40.27 per cent in the by-election. MacDiarmid was re-nominated in December, while McGinn received her party’s nod once more Mar 1.

Meanwhile, Vancouver-Burrard’s gay MLA Spencer Herbert was acclaimed as the New Democrat candidate in the new riding of Vancouver-West End. Vancouver-West End is one of two ridings created out of the former Vancouver-Burrard riding. The other is Vancouver-False Creek.

Neither the Liberals nor the NDP has nominated candidates for the second riding.

“Nobody ran against me,” Herbert says after he was acclaimed. “We’re excited.”

The Liberal web site shows no nominated candidates to run against Herbert.

For her part, McGinn says she welcomes the chance to debate the issues with MacDiarmid once again.

“Ms MacDiarmid is a good candidate,” McGinn says. “Fairview is really looked upon this time around as one of the battlegrounds.”

MacDiarmid is out of town and was unavailable for immediate comment.

MacDiarmid is a doctor and the former president of the BC Medical Association. McGinn is the former executive director of the South Granville Seniors Centre and most recently worked in business banking for Vancity Credit Union.

The Vancouver-Fairview by-election was one of two held in the fall, with the NDP’s Herbert prevailing over Liberal Arthur Griffiths in the Vancouver-Burrard race.

Herbert’s victory saw him replace former provincial Liberal MLA Lorne Mayencourt who stepped down to run unsuccessfully for Parliament for the federal Conservatives last fall.

Governing parties are not known for winning by-elections in BC.

In 2005’s provincial election, Gregor Robertson won the Vancouver-Fairview riding by 895 votes ahead of Liberal candidate Virginia Greene.

Prior to Robertson, Liberal Finance Minister Gary Collins held the seat.