Christopherson will decide on running by end of month
First mayor of new city or an unemployed father?
MPP David Christopherson readily admits he’s chomping at the bit to run against Bob Morrow in the race for mayor of the new Hamilton.
“It’s probably not the smartest thing to say politically, but people are going to read it in my face anyway.”
The hunger is in his eye.
His heart is on his sleeve.
And that puts Christopherson on the cusp of making what may be the most important political decision of his career.
The New Democrat MPP for Hamilton West has given himself until the end of the month to decide whether to go after the top political job in the amalgamated city.
But the question is no longer does he want to.
It’s can he with a clear conscience put his personal wishes and hometown feelings above those of his party.
More, can he reach out beyond his NDP roots to muster the support he needs to give Morrow a run for his money?
Christopherson, 45, is under tremendous pressure from his caucus not to run.
He’s one of nine sitting NDP members. He’s the party house leader, its finance critic, its labour critic.
If he runs for megamayor those duties will not only have to be spread among the remaining eight New Democrats, but also the withered party will have to take its byelection chances in a riding which arguably voted for the man not the party.
Christopherson knows the arm-twisting by his colleagues is going to get more intense with each passing day.
He’s already talked to NDP leader Howard Hampton. They’re meeting again in a few days.
“I imagine I’ll come away from that meeting feeling even more pressure.”
Hampton is straight-up about his own wishes.
“I hope he doesn’t run because he’s a very effective member of the legislature.” (Source: Andrew Dreschel, Hamilton Spectator)