NDP's Ron Lemieux considers dropping out of Manitoba election race

Ron Lemieux said on Thursday he is unsure his name will be on the ballot when voters go to the polls on April 19.
Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux has been an NDP MLA since 1999. (CBC/Travis Golby)

The Manitoba NDP could lose another veteran MLA before the spring election.

Ron Lemieux said on Thursday he is unsure his name will be on the ballot when voters go to the polls on April 19.

Although he was nominated on Dec. 13, 2014, Lemieux said he'll talk to his family before making a final decision.

"I mean, if you want an answer today, I am running," he said.

"But I will be talking to my family, and I just need to reaffirm that they are behind [me] and I need to reaffirm myself that everybody is strong."

Lemieux, currently the province's minister of tourism, culture, heritage, and sport, has been an MLA since 1999, after winning the rural riding of La Verendrye. His defeat of the Progressive Conservative candidate marked the first time the NDP — or any of its party predecessors — had taken that riding.

The NDP has already taken several recent blows with longtime and big name cabinet ministers deciding against another election run, including Jennifer Howard, Theresa Oswald and Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh.

Lemieux acknowledged their departures from politics have influenced how he is thinking about his future.

"You know, when I see Gord Mackintosh and others making the decisions they have, consulting with their families, I mean, I'm going to be doing that in the very near future," he said.

But the actions of others won't determine his decision leading up to April 19.

"I do this prior to every election," he said.

"The team has lost some great people in the last little while and that's really difficult … but when you see Wab Kinew and others coming forward … it's exciting. It's great to rejuvenate a team."


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