By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina will be eyeing a Liberal nomination for the 2015 federal election once his mayoral term is finished this November, but it won’t be in Hamilton Centre.
Bratina said he won’t seek that riding’s nomination after the association requested and received permission from the national Liberal Party to hold an early nomination date. Instead, Bratina said he will concentrate on the Liberal nomination in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.
“That’s where I grew up,” Bratina said in an interview. “I still have strong ties there. If I would identify myself with a neighbourhood, it would be as an east ender.”
Hamilton Centre riding association president Allan Wilson, who is also chair of the search committee, confirmed the association received approval July 9 to hold an early nomination meeting July 30 at the McMaster InnovationPark. The riding association had twice requested the early nomination date, in April and by unanimous vote by the board in June.
The deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers was July 9. Wilson said the association received only one “green light” candidate, Anne Tennier.
Bratina, who had been looking at the Hamilton Center riding association to submit his nomination forms, says he won’t seek the nomination during the meeting.
This is the second time Bratina has expressed an interest in running for federal politics in Hamilton Centre. In 2009 the Hamilton Centre riding association courted Bratina when he was a Ward 2 councillor.
This time Bratina says he was unaware of the riding association’s time requirements to make a decision.
“That is (the association’s) deadline,” said Bratina. “I wasn’t aware of the deadline being issued by the party.
“If the federal Liberal Party wants to impose some timelines, I would be happy to respond to them. I should be able to serve without the distractions as the mayor and until I hear otherwise from the federal Liberals that is what I’ll do.”
The Hamilton Centre Liberal association’s decision has sparked suggestions that Bratina may think about entering the mayoral race, scheduled to be held in October. But Bratina has rejected the idea.
“No,” Bratina responded when asked if he was thinking about entering the race. “It’s speculation.”