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Candidates joining NDP leadership race

The contest to replace Carole James as leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party is beginning to gain candidates.

Fraser-Nicola MLA and former cabinet minister Harry Lali has scheduled two events for Jan. 6 “concerning his future political plans.” Lali will make statements and be available to the media in Merritt in the morning and Surrey in the afternoon.

And Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons confirmed today he's entering the race, saying he'll focus on sustainability and building government to government relations with First Nations.

Both Lali and Simons were among a group of 13 NDP MLAs whose opposition to James' leadership forced her to quit on Dec. 6.

B.C. Marijuana Party founder Dana Larsen has also said he is seeking the NDP leadership. Larsen was a federal NDP candidate in 2008 but withdrew after Pot TV videos of him saying he was using drugs while driving surfaced.

Others believed to be considering seeking the NDP leadership include Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix, Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth, Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan and Skeena-Bulkley Valley Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen. MP Peter Julian and Sierra Club of BC Executive Director George Heyman this week said they would not seek the position.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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