By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG – The race for the helm of the Manitoba Liberal party got its second candidate Monday as Dougald Lamont threw his hat in the ring.
Lamont, who has never held elected office, ran in the last race in 2013 and finished a distant second to Rana Bokhari. Bokhari stepped down after the party captured three seats in last year’s election, and Lamont is hopeful his chances are better this time.
“I think I’m a more known quantity now. I have a whole team starting early, like right now, in June. I was basically starting late last time,” Lamont said.
Lamont, 48, has never held elected office. He owns a small digital media company and is also a lecturer in government-business relations at the University of Winnipeg. He worked briefly for Liberal member of Parliament Robert-Falcon Ouellette.
Lamont has an interest in economics and said his focus will be largely on the economy and income inequality.
“I’m very frustrated with the state of politics and the economy in Manitoba, and I see things going very much in the wrong direction under the P.C.s,” he said, referring to Premier Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservative government.
The only other candidate so far for the party’s Oct. 23 leadership convention is Cindy Lamoureux, a 24-year-old who was first elected to the legislature last year.
Lamoureux comes for a long-standing political family. Her father is Winnipeg North member of Parliament Kevin Lamoureux and her uncle Darrin Lamoureux is leader of the Saskatchewan Liberals.
The Liberals have been struggling to emerge from Manitoba’s political wilderness for more than two decades. They hit their lowest point in the 2011 election, in which they were reduced to one legislature seat and captured 7.5 per cent of the vote.
That result prompted the resignation of then leader Jon Gerrard, who continues to hold a legislature seat. Gerrard has left the door open to running for leader again. He said Monday any decision would not come until sometime after next Tuesday, which is the date of the provincial byelection in the point Douglas constituency in Winnipeg.