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Liberals choose former mayor Sam Sullivan for False Creek fight

The BC Liberals have chosen former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan as their candidate to vie for the Vancouver-False Creek riding in the upcoming provincial election.

While Sullivan's connections to the party were never strong, at a nomination meeting tonight he defeated former MLA Lorne Mayencourt, whose long-time ties to the Liberals were detailed at length in a Tyee report published earlier today by Doug Ward.

Sullivan won 273 votes out of 517 cast, according to a CKNW report. Lawyer Brian Fixter was also in the running.

In a statement released by the party, Sullivan said the Liberals have a "strong leader, a bold plan for B.C., and momentum on our side," and that the upcoming election is the most important in many years.

"The choice is clear: stronger economy, balanced budgets and a more affordable life for your family with today's BC Liberals, or higher taxes, bigger government and more debt with the NDP," he's quoted as saying.

Sullivan has pulled off upsets before, as Ward's report points out. In 2005, Christy Clark was expected to win the Non-Partisan Association mayoral nomination in Vancouver, having signed up far more members than Sullivan. But the then-NPA councillor beat the premier.

In the False Creek race, Sullivan faces candidates that so far include Matt Toner for the NDP, Daniel Tseghay for the Greens, and Sal Vetro for BC First.

The riding is currently held by Liberal MLA Mary McNeil, who won't seek re-election. In 2009, McNeil won with about 56 per cent of the vote. The second-place NDP candidate took 28 per cent.

Robyn Smith reports for The Tyee.

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