Former Manitoba Liberal leader running for mayor

A former Manitoba Liberal leader has entered Winnipeg’s crowded mayoral race.

Rana Bokhari registered her candidacy Friday.

She joins eight other candidates—Jennifer Motkaluk, Don Woodstock, Christopher Clacio, Rick Shone, Scott Gillingham, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Shaun Loney and Idris Ademuyiwa Adelakun.

In a phone interview with CTV News, Bokhari said she feels compelled to public service, and wants to help the city grow.

“I believe that we need a strong vision for the future. We’ve come through some very hard years. People have suffered financially, emotionally – all sorts of challenges that we’ve all faced during this pandemic,” she said.

Bokhari said her platform will be rooted in community connections, prosperity and sustainability of people, the economy and the environment.

Bokhari is currently a lawyer at Winnipeg-based firm Bokhari, Smith and Walker.

She studied law at the University of Manitoba and was elected leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party in 2013, shortly after she was called to the bar. She was the party’s first female minority leader and its youngest.

She ran for MLA in Fort Rouge in the 2016 Manitoba general election, losing to NDP Leader Wab Kinew.

Bokhari stepped down as party leader soon after.

She said since her last campaign, she has learned a lot.

“What I would really be doing different in this campaign is really just being my true, authentic self, being true to who I am as a woman, as a Pakistani woman, as a Muslim woman in the city, and just being authentic in every way possible, and that was something that wasn’t able to do at that time,” she said.

The municipal election takes place on Oct. 26.

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