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Two Courtenay people seeking federal NDP nomination

The Vancouver Island North NDP riding Association will choose one of three people Feb. 27 to challenge MP John Duncan in the next federal election.

Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard of Courtenay, former Courtenay councillor Erik Eriksson and Coun. Shirley Ackland of Port McNeill have put their names forward for the nomination.

“We’re very excited to have three strong nominees with great track records of serving their communities,” said Roger Kishi, president of the Vancouver Island North NDP Riding Association.

“NDP members throughout the riding are looking forward to a lively contest,” he said. “Whatever the outcome, we know we’ll have a strong candidate who will provide voters in this riding with a positive alternative to Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.”

NDP members will be able to vote by mail, or in person at the meeting, which will take place at the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay. For those who vote live at the meeting, registration opens at 12:30 p.m. and closes at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m.

For the past three elections, Vancouver Island North has been a swing riding between the Conservatives and New Democrats. Duncan, currently minister of Indian and northern affairs, won two of three times for the Conservatives over the Comox Valley's Catherine Bell, who announced recently she would not run again so she could focus on running the Zocalo Café, a downtown Courtenay business she purchased last year.

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