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Mike de Jong backers say they'll mark Abbott second for Lib leader

Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong has declined to say who his second choice for BC Liberal leader is, but people backing his campaign said today they like George Abbott.

In a news release today former MLA Gulzar Cheema and organizer Prem Vinning said Abbott would be their second pick.

Liberal members will vote using a preferential system, and according to a rule change made Feb. 12 will have to each pick at least a first and a second choice.

“We have come together today because we believe that George Abbott will, as Premier, represent all of our province’s diverse communities in government,” the release quoted Vinning saying.

“We are supporting candidates who understand the needs of the entire province, from urban to rural, from longtime residents to new Canadians,” it quoted Cheema saying.

Mike de Jong insisted last week that he would be staying in the race to lead the Liberal party, despite rumors to the contrary. He said he would not be instructing his supporters how to cast their second choice and that he doubted how much candidates would be able to influence those choices.

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

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