July 20th, 2024

Pancholi drops out of NDP race, supports Nenshi

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on March 27, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Rakhi Pancholi is out of the race to become the next leader of the Alberta NDP.

The MLA for Edmonton-Whitemud on Tuesday morning said she has decided to end her campaign.

Pancholi, in an email to media, said she believes the party should unite behind the person who she feels will be the next party leader – former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi.

An update on membership sales that was given to all candidates showed that in one week, Nenshi more than doubled that membership, said Pancholi.

“It’s an incredible accomplishment and invites so many more people into our movement.

Growing our party has always been and will continue to be my first priority. Rather than compete with each other, I want to unite us behind our shared visions and mutual goals,” the MLA said.

“We must move forward to offer a positive alternative to the UCP that Albertans can enthusiastically support in the next election. And I believe that means uniting behind the next leader, Naheed Nenshi.

“This was not an easy decision for me. I have loved every moment of this journey. The Albertans I’ve talked to, the members I’ve shared a coffee with, and the incredible team of people who have given their time, ideas, and passion to our campaign have been unforgettable,” she added.

The MLA stated that the NDP needs to broaden its intent “invite in more Albertans, and offer Albertans something positive to vote for. It’s why I ran, and I live those values in service of a province I love very much.”

And she added she’s looking forward to working with Nenshi who “has grown our party by bringing tens of thousands of Albertans into the Alberta NDP, broadening our movement significantly.”

In her own statement, Kathleen Ganley – who is also running for the NDP leadership – thanked Pancholi for her campaign and invited Albertans to support her in the race.

“I’d like to thank my friend and colleague Rakhi Pancholi for her spirited campaign and the amazing ideas she brought forward. Rakhi has an incredible group of volunteers around her and they have done so much to grow and strengthen the party,” said Ganley.

“With new support flooding in every day, I think this race is fantastic. As a Calgarian, I am particularly excited to see two candidates from this city growing our party.”

“My campaign has sold thousands of memberships,” said Ganley. “Our party is growing.”

Fellow candidate Sarah Hoffman said she has done the same. She pointed out that she has won numerous elections under the New Democrat banner and Nenshi hasn’t won any.

“We win when people know who we are,” Hoffman said.

“I’m not going to shy away from my history or our history or try to repackage the Liberal party under a new brand.”

Nenshi thanked Pancholi for her endorsement saying “you and your team reached thousands and inspired us with the belief that, here, anything is possible. Together, we can carry that message to everyone in this province and build an Alberta for all of us.”

Pancholi stood out in the campaign for, among other issues, suggesting that a consumer carbon tax is no longer the best way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. She said she’s had one conversation with Nenshi since deciding to bow out.

“I’ve had conversations with him about the perspective I bring and the energy I bring, and I think there will be broad alignment. I think I will also have the opportunity to have input in that direction.”

Other candidates are Edmonton legislature member Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse and Gil McGowan, head of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

The vote for a new leader is to take place June 22.

– with files from The Canadian Press

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Wonder how many of those new members are 5-10 dollar dippers just who bought with the intention of not voting for him.

Last edited 3 months ago by buckwheat