She's back, sort of.
Former NPA city councillor Suzanne Anton announced Monday that she is seeking the nomination for the provincial Liberals in Vancouver-Quilchena.
"It's a fairly common thing once you're in politics to stay in politics," Anton told the Courier in a telephone interview. "When I left running in the city, I never thought that my political career was over. I love politics."
Anton said she chose to run after the current Liberal MLA for the riding, Colin Hansen, announced in September that he won't seek re-election in May 2013.
Anton, who lives in the riding, served two terms on city council before running as the NPA's mayoral candidate in the 2011 civic election. She lost to Mayor Gregor Robertson by almost 20,000 votes.
The jump from civic politics to the provincial scene is not unprecedented, with former premier Gordon Campbell and NDP MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant Jenny Kwan having served on city council.
Anton said representing a riding instead of the whole city has its advantages, particularly around geography.
"When you can focus on your own neighbourhood, in a way, it's easier but you still put in long hours," she said.
So far, Anton's competition to win the nomination comes from Andrew Wilkinson, a 54-year-old lawyer with McCarthy Tetrault in Vancouver. He was featured in the Oct. 10 edition of the Courier.
The Vancouver-Quilchena riding has long been held by the Liberals and considered safe for the party. However, various public opinion polls conducted over the past year show the NDP way ahead of the Liberals in the province.
It's unclear if that shift in support will translate to Vancouver-Quilchena but Anton said she's not taking the party's history for granted.
"No riding is ever safe, no matter who you are or who the candidate is or what the circumstances of the political world are at that time," she said.
The NDP has two candidates vying for the nomination in the riding and a third waiting to be vetted by the party. Chris Moon is a school teacher and Nicholas Scapillati is the executive director of FarmFolk CityFolk.
Joseph Alexis, president of NDP's riding association for Vancouver-Quilchena, said the Liberal reign is significant but he is confident of his party's chances.
"We're going to contest the riding, I can tell you that," Alexis said. "I'm not going to mess around if we haven't got a chance."
Both the NDP and Liberals expect to hold their nomination meetings for Vancouver-Quilchena early in the new year.
The B.C. Conservatives did not return calls to the Courier before deadline to determine whether the party has selected a candidate for the riding.
Anton joins former Vision Vancouver city councillor George Chow in pursuing a seat in the B.C. legislature. Chow retired before the 2011 civic election and since secured the NDP nomination in Vancouver-Langara.
Vision Coun. Geoff Meggs will square off Oct. 21 against former B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union president George Heyman in a nomination battle for the right to represent the NDP in Vancouver-Fairview.