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Caldwell to stay on as MLA

Drew Caldwell

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Drew Caldwell (FILE PHOTO)

Drew Caldwell, long rumoured to be considering a run at becoming Brandon's mayor this year, said this morning that he will instead stay on as the NDP MLA for Brandon East.

Caldwell said he was committed to his constituency in a radio appearance this morning.

A poll released on Saturday shows that Caldwell's seat in Brandon East may be a difficult one for the NDP to hold, although an election could still be up to two years away.

The Brandon Sun / Probe Research poll showed that 47 per cent of people surveyed in that constituency intended to vote for the Progressive Conservatives in the next election. Just 31 per cent supported the NDP, with 22 per cent choosing the Liberals.

Brandon East has been held by the NDP since its inception in 1969 — with Caldwell representing the area for the past 15 years.

Caldwell's withdrawl would leave former city councillor and current furniture retailer Rick Chrest as the only person who's declared an intention to run for mayor. Chrest and Caldwell were briefly on city council at the same time in the 1990s, and the potential matchup was considered an interesting one, although another recent Brandon Sun / Probe poll showed Chrest with an early lead.

Another wildcard was whether or not incumbent mayor Shari Decter Hirst will run for re-election. So far, she's said that she is focused on doing the mayor's job, at least through the spring finalization of the city budget. Decter Hirst, who famously announced more than a year early before her first succesful run, said two weeks ago that the "six-month campaign period … is more than adequate to get the job done, if at the end of the day I put my name forward."

This story will be updated.

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