Stone has 'a tough row to hoe' in leadership bid says retired TRU prof

By Greg Fry
October 10, 2017 - 4:30pm Updated: October 10, 2017 - 6:24pm

KAMLOOPS — Does Todd Stone have what it takes to win the leadership of the BC Liberal Party?

The Kamloops-South Thompson MLA was the eighth candidate to throw his hat in the ring Tuesday morning.

"I think what the real issue is going to be is whether someone from the Interior is going to be the leader over someone from Vancouver," says retired Thompson Rivers University political scientist Ray Pillar. "That's the thing he has to overcome. I think he's a very strong candidate. If he'd been coming from the Lower Mainland or Vancouver he'd be a sure bet but coming from Kamloops, that's a tough row to hoe for anybody."

That being said, he says Stone's strength will be that he can "proabably deliver more MLAs from the Interior than someone coming from Vancouver can."

Pillar adds he isn't surprised Stone decided to announce.

"He came into politics at the invite of the former premier as a friend of hers. I'm just surprised it took as long as it did for him to throw his hat into the ring officially."

The other candidates for leader include former Surrey mayor Diane Watts, Terrace businessperson Lucy Sager, and current MLAs Mike Bernier, Mike de Jong, Michael Lee, Sam Sullivan, and Andrew Wilkinson.

Party members will vote for their new leader February 1-3, 2018.

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