Les: "Do I continue to run for re-election...or do I withdraw?"

Former solicitor general John Les is soliciting opinions on whether he should run for re-election. Last month, Mr. Les - who has already been acclaimed as the provincial Liberal candidate in Chilliwack - told The Vancouver Sun's Jonathan Fowlie he expects an investigation into his conduct while he was mayor of Chilliwack will be "wrapped up" by the election. But, in a message sent to "supporters and friends" and obtained by Public Eye, Mr. Les writes, "Unbelievably, the investigation has not yet concluded. This raises the question: Do I continue to run for re-election...or do I withdraw?"

The legislator concedes he has thought about not returning to office, stating "I do not want the riding, the party or the province to lose out as a result of this unresolved issue" Nevertheless "our riding executive and other strongly insist that I continue." So Mr. Les - who expects to "be completely cleared" - is asking for advice on what he should do. The following is a complete copy of that message.

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Dear supporters and friends

I need your advice.

As you know, the May 12 election is just weeks away. If we work hard, I believe we will win again, both across the province and in Chilliwack. I was nominated by acclamation to run again, the campaign funds are in place, the signs are ready to be erected and we have a great campaign team. I am ready to run.

However, there is the matter of an ongoing investigation into issues at Chilliwack City Hall during the time I was Mayor. When I learned of this investigation, now more than one year ago, I appropriately resigned my cabinet position.

Unbelievably, the investigation has not yet concluded. This raises the question: Do I continue to run for re-election....or do I withdraw?

I have considered withdrawing as a candidate for re-election, however our riding executive and others strongly insist that I continue. I have said from the beginning that I have done nothing wrong, I have nothing to hide and expect to be completely cleared once the investigation concludes.

On the other hand, I do not want the riding, the party or the province to lose out as a result of this unresolved issue. My interest is to serve you, the community and the province in the best way I can.

In the circumstances, I thought it respectful and appropriate to ask for your thoughts. I need to hear from you. Please let me know as soon as possible what you would advise me to do. I encourage any member of the community to send me their thoughts by replying to j.les@bcliberals.com

Thank you for taking the time to consider this.

John Les

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