Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr says she is still considering a run for mayor despite Vision Vancouver announcing last week that the party will run a mayoral candidate in the Oct. 20 municipal election.
In fact, Carr said she is willing to wait until Vision chooses its mayoral candidate June 24 at its nomination contest before making a final decision on whether she will run for mayor or seek re-election as a city councillor.
“It doesn’t mean I’m out of the running or considering the mayoral run because, really, there are so many unknowns right now,” Carr told the Courier. “Will the eventual [Vision] candidate be unifying, or divisive?”
Vision announced May 4 that it will run a mayoral candidate, despite Carr formally requesting the party support her bid for mayor. The decision came after the party requested potential candidates interested in a mayoral bid to express interest to Vision.
Carr said she was surprised and disappointed that Vision is choosing to run a mayoral candidate, which is something the party hasn’t done since the retiring Mayor Gregor Robertson became the nominee in 2008.
“Only because there is a chance right now to provide some collaboration,” she said, noting her concern of the vote-splitting on the centre-left that occurred in last fall’s byelection, which gave rise to the NPA.
Independent mayoral candidate Shauna Sylvester, a former Vision board member, is also looking to collaborate with Vision and other parties on the centre-left of the political spectrum, which includes OneCity, COPE, the Greens and Team Jean.
Sylvester said she was disappointed Vision didn’t allow its members to vote on whether the party should run a mayoral candidate, collaborate with an independent, or endorse someone from another party. Vision’s move, she said, doesn’t alter her campaign.
“I’m just going to be focusing in on our campaign, which is really gearing up,” she said, noting her team has more than 100 volunteers signed up to help with the campaign. “I intend to be in it until the end. I don’t see any reason to back off. I don’t see anybody bringing the skill base that I do to the table, and I don’t see anybody that has the ability to bridge across those political spectrums.”
Michael Haack, co-chairperson of Vision, said in a news release the party was contacted by a variety of potential candidates interested in running for mayor, including several considering a run under the Vision banner. One of those includes Vision Coun. Raymond Louie.
Haack said the board discussed various scenarios, including endorsing an independent candidate or a candidate from another party. At the top of the list of criteria in the discussions was whether such a candidate could run a competitive, city-wide campaign.
“However, with less than six months to the election, it is clear that none of the potential candidates has emerged as a consensus choice, and to date have not been able to secure cross-party support, which would be essential to the success of an independent campaign,” Haack said.
Transgender trailblazer Morgane Oger, a vice-president with the provincial NDP, and Burnaby MP Kennedy Stewart, who is a former city politics professor, have also said they are considering runs for mayor.
Vision announced its mayoral nomination race the day after polling company Research Co. released a poll showing Carr remains the most popular prospective mayoral contender in the city. More than a third of respondents said she would be “a good choice” for mayor.
Carr came ahead of Louie, anti-poverty advocate Jean Swanson, NPA Coun. Hector Bremner—who was ousted Monday by his board of directors as a potential mayoral candidate—and Stewart.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver and District Labour Council continues to facilitate talks with the five centre-left parties to formalize an agreement to support each other in the election campaign. So far, the talks haven’t focused on a mayoral candidate, said Stephen von Sychowski, president of the labour council.
“Really this is more a conversation about city council and school board and parks board,” he said. “You can’t help ‘mayor’ coming up in the discussion. But it’s not really targeted at sorting out that question at this point.”
Party representatives are expected to meet again this weekend.