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PC Thomas gets in line behind Reynolds in 2004

The right is uniting in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast behind incumbent Member of Parliament John Reynolds in the upcoming federal election.

The right is uniting in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast behind incumbent Member of Parliament John Reynolds in the upcoming federal election.

Until recently the new Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) found itself with two people ready to campaign in the next federal race. The Progressive Conservative Party nominated Dave Thomas before the merger and MP John Reynolds gave no indication of stepping away from his post.

The pair confirmed yesterday (Jan. 29) that they will work together to re-elect Reynolds when Prime Minister Paul Martin calls the next election. The announcement was made at a Rotary Club meeting in West Vancouver.

Reynolds announced his candidacy at the meeting and Thomas was there to endorse Reynolds.

"I think it is an important time in the history of the conservative family," Thomas said. "The country needs the leadership and experience which John has brought to the House of Commons under the Canadian Alliance. Therefore, I have decided to put my immediate political aspirations aside and support John's re-election efforts. Together we will work to ensure that the Conservative Party will bring a unified conservative voice to Parliament."

Thomas is only 42 years old and said he is interested in taking over Reynolds' work when the more senior politician is ready to retire.

"Don't be surprised if the constituents of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast find me seeking the nomination in the future," Thomas said. "After a lot of thinking about it I think it is really the right thing to do at this time."

Reynolds used the breakfast meeting to deliver an election-style speech.

"We have suffered through more than a decade of Chrétien/Martin-led Liberal government and Canadians are tired of Liberal mismanagement and corruption," Reynolds said.

"I am excited with the thought of forming majority and replacing the tired Liberal reign with a new Conservative government that will listen to all Canadians across our great nation.

"I want to continue working for the people of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast, so I am announcing today that I will proudly stand for the nomination as their candidate under the Conservative Party banner."

Reynolds and Thomas ran against each other in the 1997 federal election. Running as a Reformer, Thomas finished in fourth place and Reynolds won by 15,898 votes.

Thomas didn't run in the 2000 election. The Tory candidate that year was Kate Manville.

The first CPC constituency association for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast was held on Jan. 17 in West Vancouver. About 200 people reportedly attended the meeting.

A group of 30 people were elected to the constituency association board of directors. Douglas Day of Squamish is one of the directors.

Thomas, an immigration lawyer on the North Shore, was elected as the constituency association secretary and he will act as Reynolds's financial agent in the upcoming campaign.

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