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Ben Carr makes it official, declares run for Liberal nomination in late father’s federal riding

After a month of deliberations, the son of the late Liberal Rep. Jim Carr has decided to seek the party’s nomination in a by-election expected later this year in central Winnipeg South.

Ben Carr announced Thursday he will be seeking nomination for a ride his father Jim won three times before dying on December 12 at the age of 71.

The younger Carr said on Jan. 3 he was considering following in his father’s footsteps.

Ben Carr worked on his father’s political campaigns and served as co-chair of the 2021 reelection effort after helping more informally in the 2015 and 2019 federal elections.

He has spent most of his career in education, working as a teacher and later as a principal in schools in River Heights and The Maples.

The younger Carr ran in a 2020 Winnipeg school division by-election — and even voted for himself in a pre-poll — before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the exercise.

Carr also worked in Ottawa for former Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly and is currently Vice President of Government Relations for the Indigenous Strategy Alliance, a private consultancy.

In a press release, Carr listed 15 recommendations from politicians, Indigenous leaders and educators, including former Prime Minister Paul Martin, Shoal Lake No. 40 Chief Kevin Redsky and former Liberal MPs Maryam Monsef and Scott Brison.

Carr faces competition from the city government. Sherri Rollins, who represents Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry and also served as Trustee of the Winnipeg School Division.

In the absence of a general federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has until June 11 to announce a Winnipeg South Center by-election. The latest possible date for holding this by-election is August 1st.

Whoever wins the Liberal nomination at Winnipeg South Center has a good chance of becoming the next Assemblyman for the Winnipeg ride, a dependable but not exclusively Liberal ride.

The Liberals have held Winnipeg South Center for all but four years since the equestrian sport’s inception in 1988. Conservative Joyce Bateman represented it from 2011 to 2015.

A woman sits on a chair and smiles.
Sherri Rollins, the councilwoman for Winnipeg’s Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry community, is also seeking the Liberal Party nomination for the central Winnipeg South by-election. (Ian Frogs/CBC)

A second Manitoba by-election is expected this year in Portage-Lisgar, one of the most reliable Conservative seats in Canada. Candice Bergen announced this week that she will soon be stepping down from her seat.

Manitoba’s progressive conservative MLA Cameron Friesen said Jan. 27 that he would soon resign from the Manitoba legislature to seek the conservative nomination in Portage-Lisgar.

Branden Leslie, a former Conservative adviser, and Liz Reimer, a former Friesian assistant, announced in early January that they are seeking the Conservative nomination for Portage-Lisgar.

The Southern Manitoba Riding has been held in every election since its inception in 1997 by the Conservatives and two previous Conservative parties – Reform and the Canadian Alliance.

The Portage-Lisgar by-election must be announced no later than 180 days after the Speaker of the House of Representatives officially notified Elections Canada that Bergen has resigned. If that happens on Thursday, the Portage-Lisgar by-election can be held no later than September 20.

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