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Greater Victoria MLAs, MPs line up behind Horgan in B.C. NDP leadership bid

B.C. NDP leadership candidate John Horgan is shoring up support from Island MLAs.

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming, Saanich South MLA Lana Popham and Saanich and the North Islands MLA Gary Holman threw their support behind Horgan Thursday.

Fleming had been debating a leadership run, but backed off late last month, while Popham had aligned with former B.C. NDP leadership candidate Mike Farnworth before he pulled out April 8.

Victoria NDP MP Murray Rankin also publicly endorsed Horgan Thursday.

“My life’s work has been to ensure we develop our natural resources in a manner that provides good jobs, sustains our environment and respects First Nations’ rights,” Rankin said in a statement. “For over 30 years, John has been a part of that work with me. His experience and proven leadership will make him a superb premier.”

Capital Region MLAs Carole James and Maurine Karagianis and MPs Bill Routley and Randall Garrison endorsed Horgan at his leadership campaign launch March 17.

“I’m proud to be joined by my fellow lower Islanders as New Democrats unite to defeat the B.C. Liberals in 2017,” Horgan said.

The B.C. NDP has a deadline of May 1 for candidates to be nominated for the leadership, which includes payment of $25,000 to go towards staging of leadership debates around the province. Candidates have until June 26 to sign up new party members, with a province-wide vote scheduled to be completed Sept. 28.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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