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Vancouver Centre NDP candidate resigns

Garrison cites personal, professional reasons

CANDIDATE WITHDRAWS. NDP leader Jack Layton and Randall Garrison in an undated publicity photo. Credit: ndp.ca

The Vancouver Centre NDP riding association is looking for a new candidate after the resignation of Randall Garrison as its candidate this week.

Garrison is citing personal reasons as a factor in his decision not to contest the riding currently held by Liberal MP Hedy Fry. Fry has held the seat for 15 years.

Garrison told Xtra West he was withdrawing for both personal and professional reasons.

Professionally, he said he would need to be out of town too much to be an effective candidate.

“I don’t think a part-time candidate is a good idea,” he says.

Garrison got the NDP nod in Jan 2007.

At that point, he says, the party thought there would be a federal election within three months.

He says he’s disappointed to be withdrawing.

He believes the party has a good chance at winning Vancouver Centre in the next federal election — whenever that might be.

“I was very proud to be an out gay candidate and I hope a candidate will step forward from the community,” he says.

Garrison ran unsuccessfully for the NDP in the 2006 federal election for Vancouver Island’s Esquimalt Juan de Fuca riding.

Svend Robinson was the NDP candidate in Vancouver Centre that year.

Vancouver Centre NDP riding association president Tim Armstrong could not be reached for comment on who might seek the nomination now that Garrison has stepped down.

Fry confirmed several months ago that she will run again to represent Vancouver Centre in Ottawa.

The Conservative Party remains without a candidate for the riding.

It has long been rumoured that MLA Lorne Mayencourt might be interested in the seat.

Mayencourt, though, says he’s made no decision on that front yet.

He says he remains very busy on the addiction treatment centre he’s been working to establish near Prince George.

The Vancouver-Burrard MLA says he was surprised to hear Garrison had withdrawn his name from the race.

Queer candidate Gary Mitchell ran for the Conservatives in the 2004 race.

“No thoughts whatsoever of running again at this point,” he says with a laugh.

Lawyer Tony Fogarassy stumped for the Conservatives in 2006 running third behind Fry and Robinson.

Green Party Deputy Leader Adriane Carr is party’s Vancouver Centre candidate.