Rich Coleman is running for Langley Township mayor.
“When Jack [Froese] decided not to run, the conversations started,” he said.
After having been a provincial politician for many years and having been asked several times to run federally, he’s turned his eye to what he can do in the community he has called home for about 38 years.
“I just felt I had more to give,” he said.
Since leaving office, Coleman said he’s been repeatedly approached by people wanting help on how to run for office and how to hold office. That was the impetus to create Elevate Langley voting association, which is registered with Elections BC.
It was created to “try and bring some people into public life,” he explained.
He has a slate of seven other candidates running for Township seats, saying they would be introduced publicly in the coming days.
He was asked to lead Elevate Langley and running for local office seemed a natural fit.
“I know how to bring partners together,” Coleman said.
He said much of his work as an MLA was bringing together the stakeholders whether that was to get a soft wood lumber agreement, repair major infrastructure in the province, or get a new school in Langley.
Coleman said he thinks Langley is a great community and he would like to be part of the future to make it even better.
“I just think this community’s next step is to have an innovative plan for affordable home ownership,” he said.
As well, there’s work to be done on increasing rental housing stock for all income levels, roads and traffic, public safety, the opioid crisis which he noted reaches into every strata of society, supporting health care and emergency services, and more.
He defends his many years in public office, even his work that was investigated by the Cullen Commission on money laundering.
“I operated with the utmost integrity,” he said when asked about his political history.
Coleman said that anyone who has been in public office comes with baggage. He expects his political opponents to throw mud during the campaign.
“I will not go in the gutter,” he said.
He said not one should be entering public office for what they can get out of it, but for what they can accomplish.
“If I was going it for ego, I wouldn’t have run for it in the first place,” he said.
Coleman served as deputy premier in addition to being solicitor general, and was Langley’s longest serving MLA (1996 to 2020). During his time in office he was forests minister, minister for natural gas development, housing minister, and interim B.C. Liberal Party leader.
Coleman served as an RCMP officer in Alberta shortly after high school and then returned to B.C. to go into business. He has volunteered on various projects, including the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre, over 250 affordable rental housing units for families and seniors. Rich married his wife, Michele, in 1974. They have two children and eight grandchildren. Coleman now volunteers with Honour House and Indigenous communities.
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