Carole James not quitting politics

Speculation ends with James' decision to campaign for Victoria-Beacon Hill provincial riding

Carole James … no announcement yet

Carole James … no announcement yet

After months of uncertainty about her future in politics, Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James has decided to campaign in the next provincial election.

“I’m going to run again because the work isn’t done yet,” James exclusively told the News. “The only way we’re going to make changes is if the New Democrats are (the) government.

“And I want to be part of that change. I want to be part of that government, and I want to represent my community in the same kind of passion that I ran for back in 2001 when no one believed it was possible.”

James, who has been MLA since 2005, announced her intentions to about 100 people who gathered in Fairfield tonight (Wednesday night) for the Victoria-Beacon Hill NDP Constituency Association’s annual general meeting and fundraiser.

James said Dix, who also spoke at the meeting, played a key role in her decision to let her name stand as the incumbent candidate.

Dix said the Victoria MLA will continue to play a senior role in the party, though shied away from saying whether she would be offered a critic’s portfolio following an election.

“Carole’s a great spokesperson for the NDP and has been a great mentor to me, and I’m very excited that she’s running again and will part of – we hope – the next NDP government,” Dix told the News.

“I did ask her many many times since January to run again,” he said. “This is a very important announcement for Victoria-Beacon Hill, but for me it’s equally important for the whole province.” 

James said her decision was not influenced by provincial Green Party leader Jane Sterk’s recent decision to vie for the Victoria-Beacon Hill riding rather than in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.

“Every election there’s someone different you run against and I don’t make decisions based on who I’m running against,” said James, a Victoria resident. “I make decisions based on, do I have the passion and the energy to be able to represent this community.”

Earlier this year, James considered quitting politics after 13 MLAs in her party caucus questioned her abilities as provincial NDP leader. She resigned from that post in December, and since then has focused on being an MLA.

Through that she learned she could play an important role in the riding and the party if she ran again.

“I’m not a tread water kind of person,” James said. “I have to be passionate about (my work). I have to care deeply about it. That’s important to me.”

emccracken@vicnews.com