Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)

Todd Stone says he’s not running for B.C. Liberal leadership

Kamloops MLA was widely viewed as a front-runner

He spent time putting together a campaign team after Andrew Wilkinson stepped down as B.C. Liberal leader, but Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone won’t be running to lead the party.

Stone announced on his Facebook page Jan. 14 that while he’s “energized” about carrying on as an MLA, he won’t continue with what has been the only visible leadership campaign for the party. His three daughters “don’t know a time when their dad wasn’t in public office,” and it’s time to be more available to them, he said.

With an early organizing effort underway to measure support, Stone issued an open letter to the party after the October snap election, where he set out priorities for recovering from what he called “the worst election result in three decades.” The letter called for a a more diverse slate of candidates to appeal to urban areas and younger voters where the party lost ground.

RELATED: B.C. ‘disgusted’ with COVID-19 election call, Wilkinson says

RELATED: Interim B.C. Liberal leader Shirley Bond looks ahead to 2021

“Following the resignation of our former leader, I have been carefully considering whether this was the right time for me to once again put my name forward for the leadership of the B.C. Liberal Party,” Stone said. “I focused on building out a core team and engaged with hundreds of British Columbians. A talented, growing campaign team, a strong fundraising group, and supporters in every corner of the province were at the ready to formally launch a campaign.”

Stone first ran for the leadership in 2017 after former premier Christy Clark lost by a slim margin and the NDP formed a minority government with B.C. Green support. Other candidates were veteran Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong, Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee and former Surrey mayor and MP Dianne Watts, who finished a close second to Wilkinson.

Stone is the jobs and economic recovery critic for the B.C. Liberals, who are expected to return to the B.C. legislature in March with interim leader Shirley Bond in charge.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Oliver Elementary School
Former Oliver PAC treasurer charged with fraud returns to court

Belinda Yorke will be in court to fix a date for trial in February

Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband Doug Emhoff looks on at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)
EDITORIAL: Uneasy elements must be faced head-on

Electoral tensions in the United States could happen in Canada as well

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Kevin Lee Barrett pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of his mother Eleanor Holmes on Tuesday, Jan. 26. (File)
West Kelowna man who beat his mom could be sentenced up to 9 years

Kevin Barrett entered a surprise guilty plea to the lesser charge of aggravated assault on Tuesday morning

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Vernon now has an approved 13 cannabis shops in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon, the ‘Pot capital of B.C.’ greenlights two new stores downtown

Two more shops, within 240 metres, approved, despite neighbouring businesses opposition

11 more cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a cluster on Big White Mountain. Pictured above is TELUS park at Big White Ski Resort, Jan. 26. (Big White Ski Resort)
11 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

This brings the total case count to 225, according to health authorities in a Tuesday update

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Two fibreglass bees were stolen from Vernon’s Planet Bee Honey Farm Nov. 22, 2020. (Facebook)
Stolen bee returned to Vernon honey farm

Two months after thieves buzzed off with two bee sculptures, public tips led police one of them

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Most Read