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Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth first to declare for BC NDP leadership

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

BC NDP leadership candidate Mike Farnworth. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)

BC NDP leadership candidate Mike Farnworth. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)

The first official candidate for the BC NDP leadership announced his intention to run Sunday, ending months of mystery and speculation about who would take on the challenge.

Port Coquitlam MLA and finance critic Mike Farnworth said he wants to lead the NDP to unseat the BC Liberals next election by presenting a solid economic vision to voters while protecting the environment.

“Now’s as good a time as any,” he said.

But Farnworth has to win over his own party before he can take on the province.

He recognized part of the challenge will be uniting a party critics have said has a fractured membership.

“I’ve always been someone who wants to bring people together, who tries to find common ground,” he said. “I think that’s one of the crucial things that we need to do as a political party.”

Farnworth’s candidacy won’t come as a surprise to many in the party after coming in second to leader Adrian Dix in 2011.

John Horgan put speculation to bed in October by announcing he would not seek the leadership position, as did federal members Kennedy Stewart and Peter Julian.

The leadership vote won’t take place until Sept. 28.

Farnworth wouldn’t speculate specifically on any potential opponents he may have for the job, but said he is accepting endorsements.

“Of course I welcome support from any and all caucus members, but at the end of the day the members are going to make the decision,” Farnworth said.

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