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This article was published 3/8/2012 (3282 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
PREMIER Greg Selinger apparently wants to face off against his newest political rival as soon as possible.
Selinger announced Friday a byelection in the south Winnipeg riding of Fort Whyte will be held Sept. 4, a move that will give newly minted Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister a chance to win a seat.
"I'm excited, I'm energized and I'm happy to announce to you that I will be seeking to become the next MLA in Fort Whyte," Pallister said.
But Pallister was quick to add he felt Selinger's timing was opportunistic.
"I'm a little disappointed. I think, quite frankly, the NDP has decided to put politics ahead of family and friends. August is family month in Manitoba. We know that," said Pallister.
"To have the byelection happen the day after the September long weekend and to have advance polls in the last week of August. Manitoba families are trying to spend time together. The NDP had the chance to do this right and they didn't."
The constituency has been vacant for less than a week after the resignation of former Tory leader Hugh McFadyen, who held the seat since 2005.
In the 2011 election, McFadyen more than doubled the NDP's vote.
Pallister is only a week into his job as Tory leader after winning the title by acclamation. Under provincial election laws, Selinger had until July 30, 2013 to call the byelection.
The NDP nominated their candidate Brandy Schmidt Thursday night.
Schmidt is a University of Winnipeg grad who studied international development. Schmidt works in the Fort Whyte area as community engagement manager for the Manitoba division of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Schmidt said she is not daunted by the task of trying to win a riding that has long been Tory turf.
"I enjoy connecting with people in the community. We're just here to run a strong campaign. The NDP is focused on families and that is a strong value in the Fort Whyte area, and I really look forward to knocking on doors, hearing the issues the people here are concerned about and connecting with them," said Schmidt.
The Liberals have yet to announce their candidate.