Corpus – Homeland Security Secretary Kathryn Stewart will not be running to be the next leader of the Democratic Left Party, she confirmed this morning on Sanctarian television. She will be running for re-election as an MP, but said that, after consulting with her family, she did not feel it was the right decision to run for leader, or to seek to be Chancellor. She did indicate she hoped she would be retained as Homeland Security Secretary by whomever might be leader should the DLP be returned to government.
The decision by Stewart to avoid the contest has certainly “put the cat among the pigeons” according to a party source – Stewart had been leading the pack of likely contenders by high double digits, and had been the favourite of both DLP members and likely voters in a general election. It’s also likely to be a blow to outgoing leader Charlene Hendry, who had been hoping Stewart would replace her; Stewart is in the mould of centrist left wing that Hendry and the moderate wing of the DLP have traditionally had in leadership positions.
Stewart’s decision not to run will bring great joy to the camps of the already declared contenders, Ethan Ringrose and Amanda Thomas. Ringrose, a Sanctus City Councillor, will be hoping to attract the moderate voters that would have flocked to Stewart as he is from the same wing of the party; Thomas, on the other hand, will be touting her experience as the only cabinet member in the race, thus far anyway, to gain the votes of those looking for a tried and tested leader, a known risk essentially.
The announcement today also means that we could see new candidates in the race, people who had previously not thought to enter as it was assumed Stewart had the thing more or less sewn up had she ran. Other cabinet members will now be taking the opportunity to hastily determine how much support they might have if they run. Nominations close at noon on October 16th.
JOEY SESSIONS, Political Editor