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Dix hopes for 'diverse range of candidates' to replace him as NDP leader

Less than a day after Adrian Dix announced he's stepping down as leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party, a long list of potential candidates is emerging.

"Pretty much anyone you ask right now is going to say they're considering it," said David Eby, the MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey who beat Premier Christy Clark to win the constituency in May.

Names at the top of the list include MLAs Mike Farnworth and John Horgan who placed second and third respectively in the 2011 race Dix won. Also frequently mentioned are MLAs Eby, George Heyman, Rob Fleming and Spencer Chandra-Herbert.

There's speculation about mayors like Vancouver's Gregor Robertson or Victoria's Dean Fortin seeking the job. And there's talk that federal members of parliament Nathan Cullen, Jinny Sims and Peter Julian might be interested.

"We're going to have great candidates who are experienced, great candidates who are new," said Dix, speaking with reporters following a speech to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention that focused on the failures of the government on many files, including BC Hydro, poverty, climate change and forestry.

"Hopefully we'll have a diverse range of candidates and anyone who's a member of the NDP can run for the leadership," he said.

Asked if a leader who can demonstrate a clear break from the NDP's time in government in the 1990s is needed, Dix said, "I think we have to address the history of our province and the history of our party with honesty and openness. We've got outstanding people who served in that government who will continue to be a big part of the NDP and we've got new people, and I don't think anybody should be excluded from the discussion."

Dix said yesterday he hopes a new leader can be chosen by mid-2014 at the latest and that he will stay as leader until then.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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