The campaign manager for Surrey mayoral hopeful Jinny Sims says one of the Surrey Forward candidates for city council has quit.
On June 8, NDP Surrey-Panorama MLA Sims announced her new party’s four council candidates would be Jim Bennett, June Liu, Ramon Bandong and Theresa Pidcock.
However, Bennett’s photo and biography is not on the website.
Calgary-based campaign manager Stephen Carter said Surrey Forward received Bennett’s resignation on June 23.
“He didn’t provide a reason, but we are told it’s personal,” Carter said.
When contacted, Bennett denied he had quit.
“There was somebody else who backed out early on and, and that person has gotten mixed up with myself before too,” Bennett said. “So somebody pulled out, that’s for sure. But it certainly wasn’t me.”
Bennett was told that Carter said he is no longer a Surrey Forward candidate, to which Bennett said: “I don’t know if he knows what’s going on on the ground here. Or if he knows what candidates are doing what right now, but I certainly haven’t pulled out.”
Sims, who is running to unseat Mayor Doug McCallum, was not available for comment.
Surrey Forward is expected to seek endorsement of the New Westminster District Labour Council, but Bennett said he had not met with anybody from the organization nor had he filled-out any paperwork.
“Not everybody on our slate is a member of the NDP,” he said. “I can tell you that for sure, because I’m certainly not.”
Fleetwood-resident Bennett was named Surrey’s 2020 Good Citizen of the Year Award winner. He founded South Fraser Community Services and now runs the Jim Bennett Trust Fund.
In a story about winning the award, Bennett told the Surrey Now-Leader that he sometimes rubs people the wrong way, “but I’m always trying to do the best thing I can.”
McCallum is facing a Provincial Court trial beginning Oct. 31 on a public mischief charge for allegedly misleading RCMP about an altercation in a Save-on-Foods parking lot last September. His Safe Surrey Coalition holds a slim majority on city council. Surrey Connect Coun. Brenda Locke announced her bid for the mayoralty last July.
Surrey-Newton Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal and Gordie Hogg, the former Liberal MP, BC Liberal MLA and White Rock mayor, are also pondering a run for the mayoralty.
Elector organizations have until Aug. 2 to register for the Oct. 15 election. The official nomination period for candidates is Aug. 30-Sept. 9.
Support theBreaker.news for as low as $2 a month on Patreon. Find out how. Click here.