Leonard Krog will resign provincial seat after being elected mayor of Nanaimo
Krog says priorities are to solve homeless problem but also good governance for city wracked with scandal
NDP MLA Leonard Krog has been elected the mayor of Nanaimo, triggering a provincial byelection that could shift the balance of power in the legislature.
Krog won nearly 73 per cent of the vote. He defeated Don Hubbard by more than 13,000 votes.
"The numbers are living proof that [people] did want me to run," he said.
"It wasn't just me hearing voices. It was me hearing the voices of people who were serious, who wanted to get this city back on track, who were concerned about Nanaimo in a way that it has been run."
During the campaign, Krog promised to step down from his provincial seat and force a byelection.
If the Liberals win the seat, it could lead to an early general election, but Nanaimo has voted NDP in 13 of the last 15 provincial elections.
Krog would not say when that resignation would come only that he intended to "savour this evening."
Leonard Krog, elected mayor of Nanaimo, says he's confident NDP will win his <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nanaimo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Nanaimo</a> riding and Horgan gov will be safe. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bcvotes?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bcvotes</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bcpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bcpoli</a>—@GregorCraigie
Krog says his number one priority is to solve the city's homeless problem, but he says the campaign was also about good governance.
"People believed that I could bring council together. That was the theme of the campaign," he said.
For the past two years, Nanaimo's city hall has been wracked by infighting — including a lawsuit the city filed against previous mayor Bill McKay, investigations by RCMP and special prosecutors, as well as the departures of over three dozen city staff.
McKay announced in August he would not seek re-election.
Nanaimo has eight council seats. Only two incumbents, Sheryl Dawn Armstrong and Ian Thorpe were re-elected.
The other seats went to Erin Hemmens, Ben Geselbracht, Tyler Brown, Jim Turley, Don Bonner and Zeni Maartman.