One week after MP Merv Tweed announced his resignation, his executive assistant, Chris Kennedy, has declared his intention to seek the Conservative Party of Canada nomination for the upcoming Brandon-Souris federal byelection.
Kennedy has been Tweed’s assistant for the past four years, an experience that Kennedy says has allowed him to "fully understand the most pressing issues" in the riding.
"For the last four years, I’ve got to know to all these communities, including Brandon and the rural part of the riding as well, whether it be Melita, Elkhorn, Virden and everywhere in between," he said. "I’ve seen the pride the communities have in their own community and how they want to succeed. I just can’t see a better time to be able to continue to be a part of that."
Kennedy was born and raised in Souris, and later moved to Brandon, where he took the bachelor of business administration program at Brandon University. Kennedy has lived in Brandon since 2002.
If elected, Kennedy would be the youngest Conservative MP, at the age of 29.
"The Conservative party policy is great and I think they are looking for fresh ideas as well and I think I can bring that," he said.
Kennedy is enthusiastic and passionate about politics,and said he couldn’t pass up this opportunity.
"I’ve always been the kind of person that says when those opportunities come in front of you, there’s no better time than now."
Kennedy said it is a "crucial time" for all communities that are ready to start digging into infrastructure projects.
"They have their priorities, they want to move forward and I feel that I can hit the ground running if I get the nomination and then hopefully win the election after that," he said.
Kennedy has visited 14 communities over the past week and plans to continue meeting people in the riding.
"All I’m going to do is go out and meet the people that would offer their support to me and continue going around and making sure that everybody knows who I am, hoping they’ll support me after we have the talk of what’s important to them," he said.
On Aug. 12, MP Tweed, 58, announced his resignation, which is effective Aug. 31. After nine years as Brandon-Souris MP, Tweed is stepping down from politics to take on the role of president at OmniTRAX rail company.
A byelection has yet to be called.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 19, 2013