NDP supporters chose political newcomer George Heyman as their best bet to win the Vancouver-Fairview seat in the upcoming provincial election.
In a close race with no clear underdog, Heyman, the former president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union, beat Vision Vancouver councilor Geoff Meggs to win the NDP nomination at a convention Sunday.
“We are going to push the Liberals out of office in British Columbia and we are going to win Vancouver-Fairview,” Heyman said in his victory speech.
Though Meggs’ supporters were disappointed with the result – and somewhat surprised, considering Meggs has experience on city council whereas Heyman had never run for public office before – they plan to throw their support behind Heyman.
“We’re all on the same team, no matter who wins,” said longtime Fairview resident and NDP supporter Monica Malcolm, 42.
The riding has bounced between Liberal and NDP MLAs for the past decade and will certainly be hotly contested in the May 2013 election.
But both Heyman and Meggs had strikingly similar platforms that condemned the Enbridge pipeline, called for Liberal accountability and focused on education. Neither man resides in Fairview.
But Heyman’s efforts going door-to-door for more than a year may have given him the edge.
“It’s time for a good change, something new,” said Heyman-supporter Stephan Degrace, 49.
If the NDP continues to gain momentum across the province, Heyman has a good shot at winning the seat.
Nearly half of B.C. voters (49 per cent) plan to vote NDP in the next election, suggested an Angus Reid poll taken in mid-October. The Liberals trailed behind with 26 per cent support.
Heyman, who will step back from his role at the Sierra Club, won the nomination with 221 votes. Meggs received 161 votes.
Meggs graciously conceded defeat and said he will continue his work on city council. He will not seek a nomination in another riding.