Interim BC Liberal Party leader Rich Coleman. File photo.

Interim BC Liberal Party leader Rich Coleman. File photo.

Rich Coleman speculates on new B.C. Liberal boss

Interim party leader says seven potential candidates are eyeing a bid

The interim leader of the B.C. Liberal Party says while no one has officially declared they will seek the party’s top job, several high profile candidates appear interested.

Rich Coleman said this week Mike Bernier, Todd Stone, Mike de Jong and Andrew Wilkinson, all former cabinet ministers in B.C.’s previous Liberal government, have been considering their chances.

READ MORE: Chilliwack MLA wants next B.C. Liberal leader to create mountain monument

READ MORE: Ex-Surrey mayor Dianne Watts top pick to lead BC Liberals: poll

Coleman also said Conservative member of Parliament Dianne Watts, two-term Liberal MLA Sam Sullivan and newly elected Vancouver-Langara Liberal Michael Lee are all mulling leadership bids.

He said all seven potential candidates have been approaching the caucus and the business community as they gauge support for a bid and begin to raise money.

Leadership became vacant in August when former premier Christy Clark stepped down as leader and the member for Kelowna-West.

Her government had earlier lost a confidence vote in the legislature following the May provincial election that saw the New Democrats and Greens agree to work together to hold a single-seat edge over the Liberals.

Coleman said he’s confident a number of candidates will come forward to replace Clark.

“I think they will all come into the race at some point. The question is when and what their timing will be, and that will be up to themselves,” Coleman said.

The deadline for candidates to enter the leadership race is Dec. 29.

Three days of online and phone voting by party members is slated to begin at the start of next February and a leader will be announced on Feb. 3 at a convention in Vancouver.

The Canadian Press

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