Kevin Klein to seek Manitoba PC nod for Kirkfield Park byelection following mayoral loss

Former city councillor Kevin Klein has announced plans to seek the PC nomination for an upcoming provincial byelection less than 48 hours after conceding defeat in a bid to be Winnipeg’s mayor.

In a press release late Friday afternoon, the former councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood said he will seek the Progressive Conservative nod to run in Kirkfield Park, the provincial riding left vacant by former PC MLA, Scott Fielding.

Read more: Kevin Klein to join crowded Winnipeg mayor’s race

“It has been a great honor and privilege for me to represent the residents of the Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood ward at the city hall for the past four years and advocate on behalf of the residents of my ward,” Klein said in the release.

“I will bring that same passion for the community to the role of MLA for Kirkfield Park.”

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Click to play video: 'Winnipeg Mayoral Race: Kevin Klein'

Winnipeg Mayoral Race: Kevin Klein

Klein stepped from his role as councillor to run to be the city’s next mayor in Wednesday’s municipal election.

He ultimately finished third in a crowded field of candidates with just shy of 15 per cent of the vote. Former St. James councillor Scott Gillingham beat out second-place finisher Glen Murray to be the Winnipeg’s new mayor.

Read more: Scott Gillingham elected as next mayor of Winnipeg

Kirkfield Park runs along the western boundary of Winnipeg, north of the Assiniboine river and south of Portage and Ness avenues. It’s bordered by Moray Street to the east and Headingley to the west.

Created by redistribution in 1979, the riding was held by the Progressive Conservatives from 1981 until the NDP took the seat in 2007. The NDP kept the seat until 2016 when former Fielding won it back for the PCs.

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Click to play video: 'Former Manitoba finance minister Fielding quitting politics'

Former Manitoba finance minister Fielding quitting politics

Fielding, who triggered the byelection by announcing he was stepping away from politics in June, is supporting Klein’s nomination bid, according to Klein’s release.

“I have known and worked with Kevin during his years on City Council,” Fielding is quoted as saying in the release.

Read more: Manitoba premier says decision yet to be made on timing of next election

“Kevin is very much committed to the community and was very active with community groups to ensure their voices were heard when decisions were made. Kevin will make an excellent MLA for the residents of Kirkfield.”

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson has yet to call the byelection in Kirkfield Park, but the vote must be held by mid-December under provincial law.

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— with files from The Canadian Press

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