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Public school board trustee Alex Johnstone.

Hamilton trustee seeks NDP nomination

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

Hamilton public school trustee Alex Johnstone is looking to move up the political ladder again.

Johnston, a trustee since 2010, is seeking the Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale provincial NDP nomination. Also contesting the nomination, scheduled for May 14 at the Dundas Lions’ Memorial Community Centre, is West Hamilton resident Nancy MacBain, who replaced Johnstone as the federal NDP Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale candidate after Johnstone was elected public school trustee. MacBain finished third in the federal contest in 2011.

Johnstone, 31, won the federal NDP nomination for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale in 2009, out lasting Shilo Davis. But soon after Johnstone withdrew from the race when she decided to run for public school trustee for Wards 11 and 12. So far Johnstone has not registered for another run as trustee.

Johnstone was born in Jerseyville, but moved with her family to Kincardine. A graduate of McMaster University and the University of British Columbia, Johnstone had at the time been involved with the NDP party for about a decade. She also worked for Amnesty International.

Johnstone, and her partner Dave, live in Ancaster. She works as a community development coordinator at YWCA Hamilton.

In a news release, Johnstone says she was encouraged to seek the nomination by NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

MacBain is a labour relations professional who represents teaching assistances, sessional faculty and post-doctoral fellows at McMaster University. A graduate of McMaster University, MacBain has lived in Hamilton’s Ainslie Wood community for eight years. MacBain was nominated by the federal NDP riding association in early 2011 in the NDP’s bid to unseat incumbent Conservative MP David Sweet, but finished third with 10,956 votes. Sweet scored 30,240 votes, finishing ahead of Liberal candidate Dave Braden.

In the New Brunswick 2003 provincial election MacBain, running for the NDP, placed third behind the Tory and Liberal candidates in the Moncton North riding.

She has received the backing of the Hamilton and District Labour Council in her nomination contest.

In a news release MacBain stated the issues facing residents in the riding include health care, good jobs and post-secondary education.

There is a strong indication a spring election could occur in June if the NDP doesn’t support Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s May 1 budget.

The NDP candidate will be trying to unseat 13-year veteran and Liberal cabinet minister Ted McMeekin, and Progressive Conservative candidate and broadcaster Donna Skelly.

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