A Prince George resident is looking for the nod to stand for the provincial New Democratic Party.
Sussanne Skidmore Hewlett is seeking the nomination for the Nechako Lakes riding, currently held by BC Liberal John Rustad.
Skidmore Hewlett, 38, is an outspoken labour leader, social justice advocate and active member of the party, currently serving as president of the Nechako Lakes constituency.
Though ready to make the move from organizer to political participant during the last provincial election, Skidmore Hewlett said she talked herself out of it and came to regret that decision.
"There's nothing a person can't learn, so I just decided to take the jump this time," she said, having discussed the potential life changes with her wife Stacey and 18-year-old son.
The political environment is changing, Skidmore Hewlett said, which is leading to a groundswell of interest.
"Adrian Dix is a fantastic leader. I really like the way that he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work," she said. "And people's politics are changing - it's evolving. There's a whole entire new generation of new voters and I really want to be a part of that."
Standing behind the two local candidates, Sherry Ogasawara and Bobby Deepak, Skidmore Hewlett followed up on a suggestion to run in Nechako Lakes.
"We have family recreational property in Fraser Lake and I've got tons of friends in Vanderhoof and Fort St. James and made some connections over the years over there," she said, adding that if her run is successful, she has committed to moving to the riding.
Skidmore Hewlett is a field educator with the Court Services branch of the Ministry of Justice and serves as second vice-president of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union component representing administrative workers. She also sits on her union's provincial equity and human rights and women's committees as well as serving as vice president of the North Central Labour Council.
Her experience with the labour movement and ability to develop relationships would be a key aspect of her success as a candidate and MLA, Skidmore Hewlett said.
"It's given me a really strong sense of knowing that it all comes down to your relationships with people and that developing those relationships is really important - and listening to what people have to say and finding out what people want," she said. "I think that I have a really good ability to do that - find out what people want. And I think I'll be able to take the people's message back to Victoria."
A nomination meeting has not yet been scheduled for Nechako Lakes, but Skidmore Hewlett said she hopes to see a candidate in place by the end of the year.
"I would really like to start the new year off - be it myself or someone else - having a candidate in the constituency," she said. "The closer we get to the election, the more important that is."