One of the three people being considered by Vancouver’s centre-right party for its mayoral candidate has withdrawn his name and thrown his support behind competitor Kirk LaPointe.
Tech entrepreneur Leonard Brody sent out a message to supporters early Thursday saying it was “not the right time” for him to get involved with politics, as he bowed out of the Non-Partisan Association’s campaign.
“Primarily, my decision was based on the fact that my business obligations prevent me from giving the job the time and care it deserves,” said Mr. Brody, 43, who has started and sold several businesses already and currently has investments in several new ventures. He has also just finished writing his third book and is frequently asked to speak at events around the world.
Mr. Brody said he may still be involved in the campaign in other ways and he strongly endorsed Mr. Lapointe, one of the two remaining people being considered by the NPA.
“I have known Kirk LaPointe for a long time and believe wholeheartedly he would make an excellent mayor for this great city. I give him my full support and I look forward to working with him in any way that I can if he is chosen as the eventual candidate,” the statement said.
Mr. Brody’s statement said he wanted to make his decision known early before the NPA’s board meets next week.
It’s unclear what that means, as officials with the NPA had said two weeks ago that the board held a meeting and secret vote to decide on a candidate after interviewing the three possibilities: Mr. LaPointe, Mr. Brody and long-time NPA member and former parks board commissioner Ian Robertson.
That process has caused some dissent within the party. Board member Ken Charko refused to vote, saying it wasn’t a good way to choose a candidate and calling it a “star chamber” process. He would have liked to see NPA members vote on their choice for a mayoral candidate.
Mr. Charko and others have also expressed concern, as candidates for all positions were being vetted, that the choices were too dominated by white men from the west side.
The NPA, founded in 1937, dominated city politics for most of its existence, but it has struggled in the past decade to get more than a couple of its candidates elected to the 11-member city council.
Neither Mr. LaPointe nor Mr. Brody has any experience in politics, but were seen as bringing fresh blood and a new image to the party. Both were recruited by board members only in the past few weeks.