By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Hamilton Centre NDP MP David Christopherson remains committed to serving in Ottawa rather than taking another shot at becoming the mayor of his beloved city.
Christopherson said in an interview he won’t be running for the mayor of Hamilton, despite appeals from supporters to take the plunge again.
“The pressure has been incredible,” said Christopherson. “But I have decided to continue my responsibilities as an MP.”
The 59-year-old veteran politician, who was elected as an MP in 2004 in the newly created Hamilton Centre riding defeating Liberal MP Stan Keyes, said he has considered running a second time for mayor, but ultimately dismissed it.
Christopherson said he has a good relationship to NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, who tapped him as the party’s deputy leader. Christopherson backed Mulcair during the leadership race in 2012. If he ran for mayor Christopherson would have to resign his federal seat.
“I have already told (NDP officials) my first priority is Hamilton, then it’s the party,” he said.
Christopherson acknowledges his name has come up as a potential mayoral candidate among some political circles, and the talk refuses to die despite his insistence he will remain in Ottawa.
“I can’t do anything about that,” he said. “It’s flattering, and I’m honoured.”
Christopherson ran in 2003 for mayor, but was defeated by Stoney Creek councillor Larry Di Ianni. Christopherson had been an NDP MPP for Hamilton West from 1990 to 2003, including a stint as a cabinet minister in Bob Rae’s government.
Since besting Keyes in 2004, Christopherson has cruised to re-election over the last 10 years as Hamilton Centre’s federal representative. It is expected Christopherson will be the NDP MP candidate for the riding again during the 2015 federal election.