Former NDP candidate passes away

Steve McClurg, who ran for the NDP in New Westminster-Coquitlam in the 2004 Federal election passed away last week. - PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
Steve McClurg, who ran for the NDP in New Westminster-Coquitlam in the 2004 Federal election passed away last week.
— image credit: PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Steve McClurg's political aspirations were marked by close calls. But that didn't diminish his energy and passion say some of those who met him in the political arena.

McClurg was a founding director of Voice New Westminster and former candidate for city council, as well as the New Democratic Party's candidate for New Westminster-Coquitlam in the 2004 federal election. He passed away on March 28.

McClurg volunteered behind the scenes for the NDP both federally and provincially. He also worked as a constituency assistant to former NDP MLA Joan Smallwood and as a ministerial aide to former NDP cabinet minister Penny Priddy.

In the 2004 federal election McClurg was narrowly defeated by Paul Forseth who represented the Conservative party. The result had to be confirmed by a judicial recount.

Forseth said McClurg was a "good candidate.

"He spoke very strongly for what he believed in."

The following year McClurg sought the nomination to run in New Westminster for the provincial NDP. But he was defeated by Chuck Puchmayr by 24 votes.

"He was very determined, very passionate about social democracy," said Puchmayr. "He was tenacious. He ran a very good campaign."

Spurned federally and provincially, McClurg turned his attention to civic politics. He was a founding director of Voice New West and ran as one of the slate's candidates in the 2008 municipal election. And while two Voice candidates were elected to city council and another to the school board, he was unsuccessful.

McClurg was also very active in his local strata council. But he had to give up his position as a councillor when he fell ill.

A celebration of McClurg's life will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at the New Westminster Lawn Bowling Club on 8th Street.


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