Claudia Chender unopposed in run for Nova Scotia NDP leadership

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Claudia Chender is the lone candidate to replace Gary Burrill as the leader of Nova Scotia's NDP. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
Claudia Chender is the lone candidate to replace Gary Burrill as the leader of Nova Scotia's NDP. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

Claudia Chender, the MLA for Dartmouth South, is the only candidate in the running for the leadership of the Nova Scotia NDP.

The deadline to enter was Saturday at 2 p.m. The party will begin voting for the leadership on June 20.

Gary Burrill, the MLA for Halifax Chebucto, announced last November that he would be stepping down as leader of the party — a position he has held since 2016. He will remain as MLA for Halifax Chebucto.

Chender, a 45-year-old lawyer who was first elected in 2017, announced her candidacy for the leadership on Feb. 14.

Her leadership bid was endorsed by Halifax Citadel-Sable Island MLA Lisa Lachance and Dartmouth North MLA Susan Leblanc.

Chender said Saturday that contesting the leadership has been a "positive experience."

Leadership vote

She said the leadership vote, ending June 25 at the party convention, is actually more important with a lone candidate.

"I need that mandate from our party to go forward," she said.

According to Chender, she will spend the weeks before the vote talking to as many people as she can and answering their questions in order to earn their support.

There will be two leadership town hall meetings. One is in Dartmouth this Tuesday and another is in Sydney on June 5.

Chender said one of the challenges the party faces is growing from its urban base of support by working with engaged members in rural communities.

Health care, the environment and the cost of living will continue to be priorities for the party, Chender said.

"We're a small party so it's always a resource challenge to be present everywhere," she said.

"That is absolutely our challenge and one that we take a lot of joy in and really look forward to over the next few years."

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