Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc to seek federal Liberal nomination
LeBlanc confirms plans to seek riding of Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe
Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc plans to seek the Liberal nomination for the federal riding of Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe in this year's expected election.
"I have been approached and encouraged by many people over the past several months to seek the Liberal nomination for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe," LeBlanc said.
"I am honoured and gratified by such support. After giving the matter careful consideration, and with the support of my family, I have decided to take this step," he said.
LeBlanc says it has been an honour to serve on Moncton council, through "many successes, as well as many challenges"
But he says he is ready to make the jump from municipal to federal politics, which has always "fascinated" him.
"Having experience as a city councillor and mayor for nearly 16 years, and having worked closely with my fellow mayors, I feel that I have the experience needed to effectively represent the people of Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe."
Second to enter Liberal race
LeBlanc is the second person to enter the race to be the Liberal nominee. Ginette Petitpas-Taylor was the first to declare two weeks ago.
While LeBlanc brings his years in politics, Petitpas-Taylor said she brings her work in social justice issues.
"The race is on. I have the fire in my belly and we are prepared to work very hard to secure this nomination. So we both have to work very hard at securing the nomination," she said.
The current Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe member of Parliament is Conservative Robert Goguen.
Liberals are expected to vote for their candidate at the end of March.
If LeBlanc wins the nomination, he says he doesn't expect to step down from the mayoralty.
"What would likely happen is that I would take a leave at the time that the election is called for that period of time and then, of course, the outcome of the election will have a large impact on my decision," he said.
The federal election is expected in October.
LeBlanc, a Moncton native, was elected as mayor in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. He previously served as a city councillor for nine years.
The married father of two is a partner at the Moncton law firm Cox & Palmer.