Two well-known Abbotsford personalities are stepping up this week to represent the B.C. Liberals in the central Fraser Valley in the May 2013 provincial election.
The first, University of the Fraser Valley criminologist Darryl Plecas, is expected to be acclaimed as the Liberal candidate for the Abbotsford South riding on Nov. 22.
The event is set to take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 36035 North Parallel Rd., Abbotsford.
Plecas is the RCMP University Research Chair in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of the Fraser Valley, where he has worked for 30 years.
He'll challenge incumbent Abbotsford South MLA John van Dongen, who left the Liberals in March and will run as an independent candidate in the coming election.
On Monday, veteran Abbotsford Coun. Simon Gibson confirmed he will seek the nomination for the Abbotsford-Mission riding, left vacant by retiring MLA Randy Hawes.
A marathoner and municipal councillor with the District of Matsqui and then the City of Abbotsford for 31 years, Gibson currently teaches communications in the UFV School of Business. He said he's excited to have the chance to apply his years of local government experience at the provincial level.
"I feel the time is right. I believe I've learned to listen to the public and think the issues through carefully," he said Monday.
He wants to make sure that the Abbotsford-Mission riding continues to have a representative who will work with Premier Christy Clark to create an economic climate for job creation.
"I sincerely believe the B.C. Liberals represent a strong free enterprise alternative to the NDP and that the current renewal is making the Liberals attractive to increasingly more British Columbians," he said.
Gibson will vie against Mission Coun. Tony Luck at the Dec. 6 nomination.
Luck, a Mission councillor since last fall and a 57-year-old financial advisor with the Investors Group, was endorsed by Hawes when the outgoing MLA announced his retirement in early September.
Several other candidates are also nominated or said they will seek nominations.
Declared New Democrat candidates are Sukhi Dhami in Abbotsford West and Lakvinder Jhaj in Abbotsford South.
The Abbotsford-Mission NDP nomination meeting is set for Jan. 6.
Wendy Bales, Fraser Valley Regional District director for electoral area C, and veteran Abbotsford board of education trustee Preet Rai have put their names forward for that NDP nomination.
Aird Flavelle, who ran for Abbotsford city council last fall, is the Green Party candidate in the Abbotsford-Mission riding.
Other Liberals include finance minister and Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong, who was acclaimed in his riding on Oct. 17, and Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton, was also nominated last month.
John Martin, a former Conservative candidate and also a UFV criminology teacher, switched horses and will run for the Liberals in Chilliwack.
Liberal Laurie Throness contests NDP incumbent Gwen O'Mahoney in Chilliwack-Hope.