Rich Coleman may have seen several colleagues depart recently, but the Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA has announced he is definitely running for re-election next spring.
Coleman, a longtime Liberal cabinet minister and current Minister for Energy, Mines, Natural Gas, and Housing, and new deputy premier, [see story page A1] made the announcement Tuesday after talking over the issue of another term with his wife Michelle, he said.
"I've still got the fire in the belly," Coleman said.
Coleman will be one of a smaller cohort of senior long-term cabinet ministers committed to running in 2013.
Last week, Education Minister George Abbott and Children's Minister Mary McNeil announced they will not seek re-election, along with former cabinet member and current parliamentary secretary to the premier John Les. Those announcements came a day after Cloverdale MLA, finance minister, and deputy premier Kevin Falcon stepped down from his cabinet posts and said he is out of the running.
Another cabinet colleague, Blair Lekstrom, left this week.
Coleman, who has been a member of the legislature since 1996, said like his colleagues he had to make a decision now so his supporters, as well as Premier Christy Clark, have plenty of notice.
When he first ran, Coleman said it was his own children's futures he was thinking of. He's now a grandfather several times over, but said there are still projects he wants to complete.
"I'm not done," said Coleman. He named his work towards a liquified natural gas project in the north, as well as work with mining projects, as key reasons to stay on.
He also had kind words for the premier.
"She really does run a good government," Coleman said.
With the Liberals well behind the NDP in the polls, Coleman said he's ready for a tough campaign.
"I've been through this before," he said, noting that the elections in the mid-'90s and 2009 were both hard fought. Supporters and funding are in place for the race in the Fort Langley-Aldergrove riding, he said.
The NDP is having a leadership contest soon in the riding to choose its candidate. Shane Dyson and Gail Chaddock-Costello have both run for the NDP before.