Eric Woodward picked up BC Liberal nomination papers last summer before he announced he would be the NDP candidate on the weekend. He stepped down after just 24 hours. (Langley Advance Times files)

Woodward filed Liberal nomination papers before brief NDP candidacy

Woodward said he was exploring the option of running for the BC Liberals

Before he was briefly the NDP candidate for Langley East, Township Councillor Eric Woodward filled out application papers to be nominated as a BC Liberal for the same riding.

Jordan Bateman, treasurer of the Langley East constituency association for the BC Liberals, confirmed that Woodward picked up a nomination package and signed up new members for the party.

“I can confirm that the party did not approve him,” said Bateman, a former Langley Township councillor who works for the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association.

Woodward confirmed that he was exploring seeking the nomination, but told the Langley Advance Times that his application had been essentially dormant since mid-July.

He said that he stopped working towards the nomination after a controversy over BC Liberal MLA for Chilliwack-Kent Laurie Throness, who advertised in a conservative Christian publication that has been criticized for its anti-LGBTQ stance.

While other MLAs who had advertised in the publication apologized, Throness said it aligned with his values.

“I no longer was interested in pursuing [the nomination],” after that, Woodward said.

He did not officially withdraw his application, he said. His only communication with the BC Liberal Party since July was being informed that Kunst had secured the nomination, said Woodward.

“Conversations started with the NDP party in August,” he said of his decision to seek the nomination of another party.

Bateman contradicted Woodward, saying that Woodward had been in contact with the Liberal party until about a week before the announcement of Woodward’s candidacy for the NDP.

“He was a member still until Friday,” Bateman said.

When asked about considering a run for two of B.C.’s major parties, Woodward said he is largely in the middle of the spectrum on most issues.

Because of the snap election call, many candidates are being approved by a BC Liberal Party nomination committee, rather than having local constituency associations vote to choose a candidate.

The nomination committee for Langley East ultimately chose Margaret Kunst, Woodward’s fellow Township councillor.

Bateman could not say why the nomination committee chose Kunst and did not approve Woodward as the candidate.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, the news broke that Woodward was running for the NDP in Langley East. Just 24 hours after that, he announced he would not be running due to what he called “truly horrible, false personal attacks.”

READ MORE: Langley Township councillor Eric Woodward withdraws as BC NDP candidate in Langley East

“It was an honour to have even been considered as a potential candidate in this crazy, pandemic election,” Woodward stated.

“Today we received Mr. Woodward’s notification that he was withdrawing his name as a candidate,” Craig Keating, president of the B.C. NDP said in a statement Sunday. “We respect that decision, and we are in the process of finding another candidate to represent Langley East.”

As for who he will support in the Langley East race, Woodward hasn’t made up his mind.

“I certainly wouldn’t be able to answer that until I know who all the candidates are,” he said.

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