ONE political party has already opened a campaign office here while another is finalizing where it will set up shop as the run up to the Oct. 19 federal election in the Skeena – Bulkley Valley riding takes shape.
Conservative Party of Canada candidate Tyler Nesbitt’s office is in a former retail space in a mall on Lakelse Ave. and it’s already been the location of one function.
That was when Prince George-Peace River Conservative MP Bob Zimmer dropped in July 27 after announcing money for the Northwest Regional Airport terminal expansion and for a highway overpass over CN’s rail line west of Terrace.
“He was gracious enough to come down and spend some time with us,” said Nesbitt last week. “I guess you could say it was our first official event after opening our doors.”
Nominated in May, Nesbitt said he’ll spend the first part of the campaign juggling campaign duties, work and home life before taking up his holiday time to campaign full time as the election date draws closer.
This will be the first federal campaign for Nesbitt, 32, who is a manager with Nechako Northcoast Construction in Terrace.
“I’ll be knocking on as many doors as humanly possible in every single community I can,” he said.
“Right now we’re getting the team together and lining up our volunteers,” Nesbitt added.
Organizing volunteers also factored in comments made by Gord Lechner, the campaign manager for incumbent NDP MP Nathan Cullen.
“We’ve never had as much money as our opponents but what we do have is volunteers. We’ll out-volunteer them,” he said.
The Cullen campaign has yet to open an office in Terrace but will make that decision soon.
Lechner said late last week that lease agreements for space in Terrace, Prince Rupert, Kitimat and Smithers were being finalized.
He described the election period, because of its length, as a chance of voters to really understand the issues that will arise.
Cullen, 43, who is also the NDP’s finance critic, was first elected in 2004 and was returned to office in 2006, in 2008 and in 2011.
The Bulkley Valley resident has increased his share of the vote each election, gathering in 55 per cent in the 2011 campaign.
Also running is Rod Taylor, another Bulkley Valley resident, who is president of the Christian Heritage Party. It will be his fifth race.
The other federal political parties have yet to select candidates for the riding.