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Vancouver Sun: Liberal Senator Larry Campbell backs conservative Kevin Falcon

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

By Doug Ward
Vancouver Sun
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Liberal Party Senator Larry Campbell, who once led a centre-left coalition as Vancouver mayor, made one of the more counter-intuitive endorsements in the B.C. Liberal leadership race today, backing Kevin Falcon who is regarded as the tribune of the provincial party's federal Conservative wing.

"Kevin Falcon is a leader of the highest quality and will ensure that B.C.'s voice continues to be heard loud and clear in Ottawa," said Campbell, in a media statement released by the Falcon camp.

"Kevin is the best person to keep the B.C. Liberal coalition together—and that makes him the only candidate who can win the next election. I support him completely."

Former Vancouver mayoral candidate Jim Green, an ally of Campbell at Vancouver city hall, said the Falcon endorsement was surprising but added that "if I could predict what Larry Campbell was going to do, I'd be betting at the horse races every day."

Green said that it is unusual for a federal Liberal senator to endorse a federal Conservative for premier.
"You would have thought that the more logical person for Larry to endorse would have been Christy Clark who is a federal Liberal whose ex-husband Mark Marrissen helped engineer Larry's senatorship."

Campbell, a former police officer and B.C. Chief Coroner, cited Falcon's record in top cabinet positions in his endorsement.

"I've known and worked with Kevin as both the Mayor of Vancouver and a Senator for B.C.," said Campbell. "We didn't agree on every issue, but he was always honest and forthright with me. He has done a great job in two difficult portfolios, spearheading the Canada Line as Minister of Transportation and outstanding work as Minister of Health at a time when our system is looking for real leadership because of the tough economic times."

The former leader of the Coalition of Progressive Electors, the civic party made up mostly of NDP supporters, encouraged British Columbians to join the BC Liberal Party before Feb. 4 and support Falcon in the Feb. 26 B.C. Liberal Party leadership vote.

Liberal Senator Campbell joins Conservative Senators Gerry St. Germain, Richard Neufeld, and Yonah Martin in endorsing Falcon.

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