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Provincial Conservatives unknown for Vancouver

With the May 14 general election less than five months away, the B.C. Conservative Party has yet to announce a single candidate for any of Vancouver's 11 electoral districts.

With the May 14 general election less than five months away, the B.C. Conservative Party has yet to announce a single candidate for any of Vancouver's 11 electoral districts.

Kristy Fredericks, the party's communications director, says they hope to run candidates in all 85 provincial ridings save for Delta South, where incumbent MLA Vicki Huntington is running as an independent. She said the party is going through the red tape for potential office-seekers but admitted they are still looking for an unspecified number of contenders in Vancouver. David Hutchinson, who ran unsuccessfully in Vancouver-False Creek in the 2009 election, was the party's sole candidate across the city.

"There are still a few vacancies but we are actively recruiting," said Fredericks. "It's just part of the process. As people come through the system, there is a little bit of a backlog right now with so many candidates coming through at once. It's just a matter of our committee, who are all volunteers, getting through all of the paper. We have a 42-page application and they have to go through that for each one."

The party has a total of 10 candidates con-firmed - five in the Interior, three on Vancouver Island and one in Northern B.C. along with party leader John Cummins running in his Langley home riding.

The B.C. Conservatives entered a total of 24 in the last election. The closest it came to winning a riding was in Boundary-Similka-meen, where Joe Cardoso came in third with 20 per cent of the vote. The century-old party briefly had a seat in the current legislature after Abbotsford South MLA John van Dongen quit the Liberal Party and crossed the floor to join them last March, but six months later he resigned his party membership in protest over Cummins' leadership and sits as an independent.

Fredericks said applications have been filed in more than 40 ridings that are being looked at by the candidate review committee. Nomination bids will take place in ridings where more than one person hopes to represent the party.

"Quite often if there is more than one, there will be a ballot," Fredericks said. "In the Interior, we had a couple of three-way battles. Basically once they get approved, they have to send out a notice to all the members in their riding of when the nomination meeting will happen. In the next month and a half you'll see a lot more nomination meetings happening." afleming@vancourier.com twitter.com/flematic