Rich Coleman may have seen several colleagues depart last week, 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, and housing, 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.
Coleman, who has been a member of the legislature since 1996, said like his colleagues he had to make a decision now so Premier Christy Clark, and his supporters, 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.
Clark may soon appoint Coleman to a new portfolio, as a cabinet shuffle is expected within days due to the departure of Falcon as finance minister.
Coleman said he is aware of where he will likely be assigned, but the details are confidential until the official announcement.
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, he said.
The NDP is having a leadership contest soon in the Fort Langley-Aldergrove riding to choose its candidate.
@ Copyright 2013