Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach will be the NDP candidate for Skeena-Bulkley Valley in the federal election.
Bachrach won the nomination in a meeting in Terrace May 25 on the first ballot.
In his acceptance speech, Bachrach told a story about how he first heard of Nathan Cullen from his mom while he was living in Victoria.
“She called me up … and she said, ‘You wouldn’t believe what I’ve heard, there’s this young guy in the northwest who has come out of nowhere and it looks like he might win the election’,” he said.
“I thought … that’s who I want as my MP, [I] want to move to the place where he’s the representative.”
But he also spoke of the friends he had made in the process, including fellow Smithereen and member of town council Greg Brown.
“Greg and I have been on the road together for 14 years and we’ve done a lot of stuff together … this was really hard for both of us as friends, I think, and we sat down for lunch at the beginning and said that no matter what happens we will come out of this together.
Brother, I hope you feel the same as I do but im there for you and I hope you’ll be there for me over the next six months.”
Of the 797 ballots cast, Bachrach received 446 — just under 56 per cent of the total.
“This has been an incredible process,” he said in accepting the nomination. “I want to first thank all of you for being part of it, it’s been such a rewarding experience to feel the region in a really intimate way calling into these small communities and talking with people and hearing about their hopes and dreams for the future.”
As for the future, Bachrach said he is ready to fight for the people of the region, adding that he feels doing so will be a group effort.
“We have so much to fight for in Skeena-Bulkley Valley [and] I see my role as a candidate [as] being to help translate for the rest of Canada what this place is about, what it means and I can’t do that by myself because I only know a small part of it, I need you to help me.
It’s not about one person, it takes all of us together and i’m looking forward to working with all of you over the next six months. We have to win this riding.”
The race became necessary when Cullen announced March 1 he was retiring from politics.
“It was a decisive and well-earned win,” Cullen said following the meeting.
“Taylor has built support across the region already. The other candidates were all impressive and Taylor was gracious in the win.”
Bachrach has said he will not step down as mayor of Smithers until the ballots are counted on Oct. 19 after the general election. He does not believe the federal campaign will affect the running of the town.