Sanctus – Culture Secretary Amanda Thomas today announced she would be joining the race to succeed Charlene Hendry as leader of the Democratic Left Party. Thomas, who is a part of the socialist wing of the party, was widely expected to join the race, and had been courting party leadership in each state to gain support for her nomination.
Thomas is the second person to announce they would be seeking the DLP leadership, after Sanctus City Councillor Ethan Ringrose because the first last week. Unlike Ringrose, however, Thomas can claim to have federal government experience under her belt, having spent the last four and a half years as Culture Secretary. That position, sometimes dubbed Minister for Fun, has meant she has spent a lot of time in media rounds, defending the Government on primetime television, and representing the Government at national and international sporting events – ordinary DLP members will be more familiar with Thomas, even if they don’t necessarily agree with her more socialist views.
That experience may also count with voters, which Thomas is likely to lean on in the coming contest; it is one thing to succeed Hendry as DLP Leader, the successful candidate will also be going into an election seeking to replace Hendry as Chancellor, and being the first leader to return to Government after an election. Sources in Thomas’ campaign say that Ringrose is generally untested federally, his loss in the recent presidential election notwithstanding. “Normal Sanctarians don’t know what he stands for; hell, DLP members outside of Sanctus don’t know what he stands for. People know Amanda”, that same source told us.
However, what edge Thomas has may be sorely tested with reports that Homeland Security Secretary Kathryn Stewart is also being encouraged to run – with DLP sources saying she would be Hendry’s preferred replacement. While Thomas can claim to have the same amount of years in cabinet as someone like Stewart, the latter’s brief of Homeland Security compared with Thomas’ tenure in may convince voters that Stewart is more ready to take the reigns of the country at large. So far Secretary Stewart as refused to confirm if she would run.
Current polling of likely DLP voters has Thomas tied in second place with Ringrose on 24% behind Stewart at 41%.
GWEN COPLEY, Political Correspondent