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Darcy considers NDP leadership bid
New Westminster MLA Judy Darcy is considering a run at the leadership of the provincial New Democratic Party.
Darcy was on vacation last month when leader Adrian Dix announced he was stepping down after losing the provincial election in May which the NDP was expected to win easily. When she returned she had several emails and phone calls from people asking her to run for leader.
"I'm listening to what people have to say," said Darcy on Tuesday. "The leadership of the NDP through this period is very important, but I have to say I am completely consumed with being an MLA … I'm very flattered, obviously, but I'm not in any hurry because I have a big job."
Darcy said there are still many factors yet to be determined, such as when the leadership vote will take place and who else is putting their name in the race.
She also said she hasn't given much thought to the possible effect on herself and her family if they were subjected to a personal attack campaign similar to the ones launched by the BC Liberals and sympathetic organizations against Dix in the last election.
"Whoever runs will end up getting personal attacks, that's their style," said Darcy. "Whoever becomes leader will have to be prepared for that and be more effective at getting our positive message out, and our positive message out about our new leader."
Darcy, 63. was raised in Ontario and rose through the union ranks to become the national president of CUPE for 13 years before coming to B.C. in 2004. She was head of Hospital Employees' Union for six years before resigning in 2011 to prepare to run for the NDP in New West.
Politically, she previously ran in the 1988 federal election as an NDP candidate finishing third behind winner Frank Stronach of the Liberals.
After moving west, Darcy also sought to run provincially but narrowly lost the NDP Vancouver-Fairview riding nomination to Gregor Robertson by 76 votes prior to the 2005 election.
Her first political victory did not come until this past May when she easily won the New Westminster riding replacing the retiring Dawn Black. Although she is a rookie MLA, Dix gave her a large portfolio in his shadow cabinet naming her health critic.
"It's wonderful, I'm enjoying it tremendously," said Darcy of her new job as MLA. "I'm dealing with a wide array of issues. There's constantly a steady stream of people through our constituency office doors of people who need assistance.
"It's constant and I'm loving it, I'm absolutely loving it."