Township of Langley councillor Eric Woodward will run for the NDP in Langley East.
On Saturday, Woodward was acclaimed as the BC NDP candidate in the riding.
“There may be some in Langley who may be a bit shocked to learn that I have chosen to put my name forward with John Horgan and the BC NDP,” Woodward said.
“But it is clear to me who would be the best leader for BC during these times. When you look at the issues, whether it’s health care, education or affordable housing, or putting people before politics, our values align.”
Woodward told the Langley Advance Times talks with the New Democrats about a possible candidacy started around the middle of August.
“This has been a lengthy discussion,” Woodward said.
Woodward said the election is about who British Columbians trust to look out for them as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and that the choice is clear: it’s John Horgan.
Woodward added he was not impressed with the way Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson handled a recent controversy over buying ads in a Langley magazine that has drawn criticism for its stance on LGBTQ issues.
“[Wilkinson] clearly can’t run a party, and if he can’t run a party, he can’t run a government,” Woodward remarked.
He sees no need to step away from his council responsibilities during the campaign.
“I think I’ve shown on council I can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Woodward commented.
While Woodward was the second-highest vote-getter on council, he said running in a riding that has been Liberal for as long as Langley East poses a “significant challenge.”
“It’s still an uphill battle,” Woodward said.
“I’m not taking anything for granted.”
His campaign bio notes that growing up in Langley, Woodward was part of the emerging internet industry at a young age, forming and selling several successful companies.
From 2005 to 2015, Woodward acquired and renovated the facades of several buildings in Fort Langley and completed the LEED Gold Coulter Berry Building in 2016.
Coulter Berry was at the centre of a drawn-out legal battle after some Fort Langley residents, complaining it was too big, convinced a judge in 2013 to halt construction.
The B.C. Court of Appeal later overturned the B.C. Supreme Court decision.
Before being elected to council in 2018, Woodward was president of the Fort Langley Business Improvement Association, and a director of the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.
“Langley is my home, and I care deeply about its future,” Woodward added. “I know I can be a strong voice for Langley East in a John Horgan government, working for everyone and advocating for all of Langley — not just people at the top.”
Woodward will be running against another Township councillor, Margaret Kunst, who is running for the Liberals, and Green hopeful Cheryl Wiens.
READ ALSO: Wiens named Green candidate for Langley East
The Conservative Party of BC has announced that Ryan Warawa, son of the late Conservative MP Mark Warawa, will be running in Langley East.