The campaign for political insider Mark Marissen's mayoral bid got a little more interesting this weekend, as former B.C. premier Christy Clark (who is also Marissen's ex-wife) showed up to support him at his first in-person campaign event.
The private event was held in the West End on Saturday, July 24, and included roughly 50 supporters from across the political spectrum. Former Vancouver Greens board member Fernando Garci-Crespo Santalo, and former COPE Council Committee member Paulina Schwartz were among those in attendance.
In a phone interview with Glacier Media, Clark says she's supporting Marissen's bid to become the mayor of Vancouver because she believes that city hall is currently lacking someone who has the ability to "get along with other people."
She goes on to say that “At this time in our city’s history, we need a mayor who’s really able to pull together people of different views,” and that she believes Marissen is the person to fill that role.
"Mark is exceptional at getting along with people from all political backgrounds. He is very good at negotiating with federal and provincial governments."
On policy, Clark says that while she and Marissen don't agree on everything, she's excited about his stated goal of "making room for the middle class" in the housing market.
When asked if she thinks the support of a divisive former premier might actually hurt Marissen's chances of garnering votes with a fickle electorate like Vancouver's, Clark notes that “Mark is a lot less partisan than I am... and I think that’s what city hall needs.”
She goes on to say that “Mark and me don’t agree on everything to do with politics, but I believe in good, smart people who want to make a difference.”
Marissen agrees. When presented with the same question he tells Glacier Media that "While many of our views are different, I am happy that she is supporting me. Voters can judge me on my platform and policies."
The municipal election is still one year and three months out (October 25th, 2022), and Marissen's platform is set to be released shortly after labour day, 2022.
NOTE: A previous version of this article stated that Paulina Schwartz was a former board member for COPE, when she was in fact a Council Committee Member advising Jean Swanson. It has been corrected.