Will Caldwell join the race for NDP leadership?

Westman Journal
September 10, 2009 01:00 AM

Drew Caldwell

Manitoba will have a new premier on Oct. 17 after the provincial New Democrats choose a leader to replace the departing Gary Doer.

Will Brandon's Drew Caldwell be in the mix?

A career politician who served on brandon city council from 1992 to 1999 and then MLA for Brandon East from 1999 to present day, Caldwell told The Journal shortly after Doer's resignation that he hadn't ruled out a bid for the leadership. He said a number of people - "mostly from outside Brandon" - had called to urge him to run.

Caldwell could not be reached for comment Tuesday to get an update on his potential leadership status.

To press time this week, three candidates, all men, had thrown their hats into the ring, with a couple more expected later this week.

First to declare was Andrew Swan, the MLA for Minto who currently serves as minister of Competitiveness, Training and Trade - the portfolio handled by Brandon West's Scott Smith until his defeat in 2007.

Next up was Steve Ashton, the veteran MLA from Thompson and the current minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, who has served almost 30 years in the provincial legislature.

Declaring his intentions to run Wednesday was Minister of Finance Greg Selinger, the bilingual MLA for St. Boniface.

Justice Minister Dave Chomiak is expected to declare his interest in Doer's job.

Two weeks ago, Doer announced his plans to resign as premier after 10 years on the job and 21 as the Manitoba party leader. The day after his announcement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Doer was being appointed as Canadian ambassador to the United States, based in Washington, D.C.


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