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PoCo NDP puts Farnworth back on ballot

By Jennifer Saltman
The Now News

March 9, 2005

The Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain NDP Constituency Association has nominated Mike Farnworth as its candidate for the 2005 provincial election.

Farnworth, a former Port Coquitlam MLA, was nominated Sunday, beating newcomer Karam Singh Dhanwant by 71 votes. Farnworth received 155 votes and Dhanwant received 84.

"I'm really excited," Farnworth said, adding he's looking forward to getting back into politics. He said he thinks his chances of winning are pretty good, but he's not taking anything for granted and is working hard to make sure he gets elected.

"That's a strong win for Mike - he had a lot of support," said Brad West, constituency association vice-president. West said Farnworth has support from both long-time and new members of the party.

Almost 500 people turned up at the Sunday afternoon meeting - which featured NDP leader Carole James as a speaker - with 250 eligible voters present.

"In terms of the PoCo NDP this is the largest nomination meeting we've had since the '80s. It's a very good sign for May," West said.

Farnworth was first elected to the provincial legislature in 1991 and was re-elected in 1996, serving in four different cabinet positions during his tenure. He was defeated in the 2001 "Liberal landslide" by current Liberal MLA Karn Manhas. Manhas received 45 per cent of the popular vote while Farnworth received 33 per cent.

West, however, calls Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain a top seat for the NDP and said a lot of people in PoCo are fed up with a "lack of representation by the current MLA."

"We fully expect to win (the riding) back, but we'll be working hard to make sure that happens," West said. "We're really looking forward to May."

Farnworth will take another shot in PoCo

By Janis Cleugh
The Tri-City News
Mar 09 2005

A familiar name will be on the provincial ballot in May after Mike Farnworth on Sunday became the fourth and final NDP candidate to win nomination in the Tri-Cities.

The former Port Coquitlam city councillor, MLA and cabinet minister beat out 78-year-old Karam Singh Dhanwant on the first ballot at the PoCo-Burke Mountain riding's nomination meeting, taking 153 out of 237 votes.

"Thank you very, very much for your trust and confidence," Farnworth told the crowd at Wilson Centre.

The PoCo-Burke Mountain NDP constituency association had the largest turn-out for a nomination race since the 1980s, with voters and guests lined up for nearly 30 minutes to get in to see the contest and to hear NDP leader Carole James, who remarked on the number of supporters in the room.

PoCo Mayor Scott Young, who nominated Farnworth, told the crowd the riding has suffered under Liberal leadership and said, "We need Mike back."

Farnworth, who does not live in the riding but said he is looking for property in PoCo, did not mention his Liberal challenger, Greg Moore, but attacked Tri-City's four Liberal MLAs. "Our local MLAs have been silent and indifferent to the local issues," he said, adding, "There's a joke going around the Legislature that Tri-Cities' MLAs are the best MLAs Richmond and Whistler ever had."

Mike Farnworth, Nomination Candidate for Port Coquitlam - Burke Mountain

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