Today, fighting to be heard above the whizzing blenders and clashing coffee mugs at Caffe Fantastico, Victoria councillor Rob Fleming confirmed rumours he had earlier denied and announced he would be running for the provincial New Democrat nomination in Victoria-Hillside. Mr. Fleming was introduced by fellow councillor Dean Fortin as, "One of the new breed of New Democrats (read: moderate) that we need."
Other suspected "new breeders" on hand for the event included former Saanich-Gulf Islands MP and Fleming campaign co-chair Lynn Hunter, Saanich councillor and future Saanich South nomination candidate David Cubberley, Esquimalt councillor and future Esquimalt-Metchosin nomination candidate Maurine Karagianis and Premier Dan Miller's chief of staff John Horgan, who is considering seeking a nomination in Malahat-Juan de Fuca.
Also showing up: Greater Victoria school board trustee Michael McEvoy; former New Democrat government caucus communications director Brad Zubyk, who masterminded Oak Bay councilor Nils Jensen and cabinet minister Corky Evan's leadership campaigns; caucus communications officer and Jensen campaign speechwriter Jim Rutkowski; former caucus sessional communications officer Jaime Matten; British Columbia Government Employees Union research, campaigns and communications staff representative Mike Eso; and former ministerial assistant Heather Gropp.
Mr. Fleming has already launched his nomination Website but it will be another couple weeks before we find out will be managing his campaign. In the meantime, Mr. Fleming is already dealing with his first campaign challenge: his resemblance to Conservative leader Stephen Harper. According to Mr. Fleming, "I think, with most New Democrats, I'm going to have to manage that down. Maybe getting a mohawk will do it or something like that."