Coun. Isitt joins race for NDP nomination

Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt will join three others vying to represent the NDP in the upcoming byelection.

Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt will join three others vying to represent the NDP in the upcoming byelection to replace former MP Denise Savoie in the Victoria riding.

Isitt said support from the community helped convince him to run.

“With the NDP on the brink of forming the federal government, I think it’s really important to continue to provide a strong voice for social justice,” said Isitt. “I have the perspective that is distinct from the other candidates. I am a younger person than the other candidates, I currently hold elected office, which none of them do, and I guess I take a pretty activist approach to politics.”

Isitt, age 34, has been active with the party in various capacities for more than a decade, starting with his work as a youth policy director.

He met party leader Thomas Mulcair for the first time two months ago, and said he used the opportunity to talk about his top federal issue.

“I dug right into the issue of Canada’s oil and gas wealth and we discussed different models of what could best serve the Canadian people and the environment.”

Isitt was elected to Victoria city council in November 2011 with 8,400 votes. If elected to federal politics, he will be cutting his commitment as a municipal representative short by two years.

“That was a big factor that I had to consider in making this decision,” Isitt said.

Once Isitt receives the official nod from the federal NDP, he will join declared candidates Charley Beresford, Elizabeth Cull and Murray Rankin in seeking the NDP nomination.

The nomination meeting takes place at the Michelle Pujol Room at the University of Victoria Oct. 14 at 1 p.m.

Savoie, who held the Victoria riding since 2006, resigned Aug. 31 for health reasons.

rholmen@vicnews.com

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