B.C. Liberal MLA Ida Chong has stood for office five times and has never lost a round. Round six is looming and it's not a battle she would choose.
As the latest target under B.C.'s recall law, she is campaigning for the right to hang on to the seat she won just 18 months ago. As the MLAs who have been through this before could tell her, it's a bruising and discouraging conflict.
"The last thing you want to do is spend two months working on having to clarify and explain and justify and defend anything you have done in the last 15 years," she said. "You want to spend your time working on behalf of your constituents."
The formal recall campaign is expected to begin on Nov. 29 and, from that point, organizers will have 60 days to gather enough voters' signatures to try to force a by-election.
Under the recall law, she'll be allowed to spend $35,782.68 in her defence, money she expects to use keeping her own volunteers fed and on some advertising to remind her constituents of what she has done for them.
Ms. Chong is a certified general accountant who started her political career as a municipal councillor for the District of Saanich. She made a remarkable entrance to the provincial field in 1996, defeating then-NDP finance minister Elizabeth Cull by just 640 votes.
But she was initially overlooked for cabinet. Eventually awarded the post of minister of state for women's and senior's services - effectively training-wheels for a cabinet post - she is best remembered for presiding over the closing of women's centres.
Despite her long service and a string of subsequent cabinet posts - she's currently Minister for Science and Universities - Ms. Chong has kept a low profile, never part of the inner circle in Premier Gordon Campbell's government.
Her last moment in the spotlight, until now, was in the summer when her dining on the public purse became public fodder. As an MLA living in the capital, she's entitled to a "capital city living allowance" and she maxed it out. "I'm glad you brought that up," she said this week.
She noted that only cabinet ministers' claims are disclosed, so Ms. Chong invited recall organizer Colin Nielsen to push his own MLA - who happens to be New Democratic Party Leader Carole James - to disclose her own claims on the allowance.