Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)

Todd Stone says he’s not running for B.C. Liberal leadership

Kamloops MLA was widely viewed as a front-runner

He spent time putting together a campaign team after Andrew Wilkinson stepped down as B.C. Liberal leader, but Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone won’t be running to lead the party.

Stone announced on his Facebook page Jan. 14 that while he’s “energized” about carrying on as an MLA, he won’t continue with what has been the only visible leadership campaign for the party. His three daughters “don’t know a time when their dad wasn’t in public office,” and it’s time to be more available to them, he said.

With an early organizing effort underway to measure support, Stone issued an open letter to the party after the October snap election, where he set out priorities for recovering from what he called “the worst election result in three decades.” The letter called for a a more diverse slate of candidates to appeal to urban areas and younger voters where the party lost ground.

RELATED: B.C. ‘disgusted’ with COVID-19 election call, Wilkinson says

RELATED: Interim B.C. Liberal leader Shirley Bond looks ahead to 2021

“Following the resignation of our former leader, I have been carefully considering whether this was the right time for me to once again put my name forward for the leadership of the B.C. Liberal Party,” Stone said. “I focused on building out a core team and engaged with hundreds of British Columbians. A talented, growing campaign team, a strong fundraising group, and supporters in every corner of the province were at the ready to formally launch a campaign.”

Stone first ran for the leadership in 2017 after former premier Christy Clark lost by a slim margin and the NDP formed a minority government with B.C. Green support. Other candidates were veteran Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong, Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee and former Surrey mayor and MP Dianne Watts, who finished a close second to Wilkinson.

Stone is the jobs and economic recovery critic for the B.C. Liberals, who are expected to return to the B.C. legislature in March with interim leader Shirley Bond in charge.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politics

Just Posted

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(File photo)
Island conservation group says members targeted with harassment, vandalism

Police investigate pair of reports of mischief victims call pushback against conservation efforts

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in workplace accident at Gold River logging site

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Nanaimo sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Whispers Adult Superstore overnight Feb. 21

Sooke Lake Reservoir, shown here, is the primary storage site for Greater Victoria’s drinking water supply. The Capital Regional District just purchased a property on the north edge of the water supply area to help further protect the supply. (Photo courtesy CRD)
CRD acquires 58.7-hectare watershed to further protect Greater Victoria drinking water supply

Forested area near Grant Lake is part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read