Former Salmon Arm Mayor Marty Bootsma is coming out of retirement.
Bootsma hopes to replace outgoing Liberal MLA George Abbott and will be seeking the candidacy for the Shuswap constituency in the next election.
“I’d like to see the B.C. Liberal Party back in the driver’s seat after the next election,” he said, adding that he doesn’t see himself taking up a losing battle.
“Absolutely not. I keep hearing about a sinking ship. It might be floundering a bit but it’s not sinking.”
After serving on Salmon Arm council as a councillor for two terms and as mayor for another two, Bootsma did not seek re-election in the 2011 election. He said he’s been travelling a little, working on his acreage and spending time with his family.
Does he have the stamina to re-enter politics?
“Oh, I do,” he said. “I find I have way too much.”
And he says he has enough experience for the job.
“I’ve dealt with quite a few provincial issues, cabinet ministers and MLAs, I’ve been to quite a few UBCM’s (Union of BC Municipalities conventions)… I know quite a bit about what it’s about and what’s required.”
Bootsma said he has a group of supporters who want him to run, but wouldn’t say if Abbott is among them. He doesn’t know if anyone else will be seeking the Liberal candidacy in the riding.
As for polls that show the NDP favoured to win the next provincial election, Bootsma points to Alberta.
“If you’re going to rely on polls, look at what happened to the Wild Rose Party in Alberta. They were going to sweep the province in polls taken just days before the election,” he said, noting the May 14, 2013 election in B.C. is still several months away.