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Parties parachuting some candidates to run in ridings far from their homes

Some candidates live far from where they're contesting seats

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Some candidates are parachuting in candidates who live far from the ridings they're running to represent.</p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Some candidates are parachuting in candidates who live far from the ridings they're running to represent.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/4/2016 (1198 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Some candidates in the April 19 election live closer to Regina than they do to parts of the ridings they’re contesting.

In the Kewatinook riding — formerly known as Rupertsland — Liberal candidate Judy Klassen lives in Steinbach, and Tory Edna Nabess and NDP incumbent Eric Robinson list Winnipeg homes. The riding stretches to the Nunavut border.

In the Spruce Woods riding, Liberal Jaron Hart lives in Fort Rouge. The NDP’s Matt Austman lives in West Broadway but is running in Lakeside. Steinbach Liberal candidate Dakota Young-Brown resides in River Heights.

In both Steinbach and Morden-Winkler, only the Tory incumbents live there — the New Democrats and Liberals are from Winnipeg or Lockport. Conversely, Manitoba Party candidate Wayne Sturby lives in Lorette but is running in Wolseley. Liberal Inez Vystrcil-Spence also lives in Lorette, but she’s running in Thompson.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/4/2016 (1198 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Some candidates in the April 19 election live closer to Regina than they do to parts of the ridings they’re contesting.

In the Kewatinook riding — formerly known as Rupertsland — Liberal candidate Judy Klassen lives in Steinbach, and Tory Edna Nabess and NDP incumbent Eric Robinson list Winnipeg homes. The riding stretches to the Nunavut border.

In the Spruce Woods riding, Liberal Jaron Hart lives in Fort Rouge. The NDP’s Matt Austman lives in West Broadway but is running in Lakeside. Steinbach Liberal candidate Dakota Young-Brown resides in River Heights.

In both Steinbach and Morden-Winkler, only the Tory incumbents live there — the New Democrats and Liberals are from Winnipeg or Lockport. Conversely, Manitoba Party candidate Wayne Sturby lives in Lorette but is running in Wolseley. Liberal Inez Vystrcil-Spence also lives in Lorette, but she’s running in Thompson.

The New Democrats have nine Winnipeg residents running in rural Manitoba, the Liberals — who have no candidate at all in five ridings — have eight candidates running far from their homes, most of them living in Winnipeg. The Tories looked to Brandon for candidate Marsha Street, who’s running in Point Douglas.

"This speaks to desperation more than anything else," Brandon University political science Prof. Kelly Saunders said Sunday. "It speaks to where their campaigns are at.

"I’m not surprised about the Liberals — their campaign got derailed from the start," Saunders said.

However, she said, the NDP has been in power almost 17 years, and everyone knew the election date years ahead of time, more than enough time to develop local candidates who are known and representative of the area.

The Greens are running only 31 candidates, but where there are Greens running outside Winnipeg, they all appear to be local residents.

"The NDP, that’s surprising to me, the sheer number of people they’re parachuting. It’s still not good for a party in power almost 17 years, if the party is scrambling for candidates," Saunders said.

Kevin Dearing is a busy man in this election — he’s the official agent for eight NDP candidates, of whom six live in Winnipeg but are running in distant rural ridings.

It also surprised Saunders the NDP could have the same official agent for eight candidates. "Normally, it’s a very important job" with responsibility for collecting and spending money and ensuring campaign rules are followed. She said the situation’s possibly hinting at how much activity there may be in some of the ridings.

"There’s a number of candidates in what are seen as unwinnable ridings," noted Chris Adams, a political scientist at St. Paul’s College and the author of Politics in Manitoba.

However, he pointed out, some may be returning to where they grew up. "There are candidates who come from places and still have strong roots. They’re almost dual candidates."

Robinson having a Winnipeg address is understandable, Adams said; he’s been in cabinet many years and has to spend a lot of time in Winnipeg. "He’s from that area up north; he’d still have strong connections in the north."

But, in many cases, said Adams, it’s about having a full slate: "When political parties are desperate to fill a spot, they turn to their supporters and volunteers to see who’s willing. They may not knock on a lot of doors."

Four candidates do not have their addresses listed, including Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari in Fort Rouge, Liberal Krya Wilson in Fort Richmond, Tory Barbara Judt in St. John’s and Allie Szarkiewicz in Logan. Elections Manitoba could not be reached Sunday.

University of Manitoba political science Prof. Paul Thomas said candidates sometimes get caught in boundary changes that leave their home in a new riding and sometimes parachuting is a way to find a safe seat for a star candidate. It can also be a way to get a young staffer some experience while ensuring a full slate, especially if a riding lacks a strong local association, said Thomas. "They are still sacrificial lambs — they’ve got to put someone up."

The Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives did not comment Sunday.

Said the NDP by email: "We believe everyone deserves the right to cast a vote for the Manitoba NDP no matter where they live, because everyone matters.

"Unlike the Manitoba Liberal party, we are running a full slate of 57 candidates. They come from all walks of life, our team looks like Manitoba. Our team includes 24 women, nine people of colour, and seven indigenous candidates," said the New Democrats, who did not address their candidates who are running hundreds of kilometres from where they live.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

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History

Updated on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 5:13 PM CDT: Adds photo.

7:38 PM: Adding photo

10:50 PM: Corrects name of Churchill riding.

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