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Winnipeg Free Press: Wyatt pondering federal bid to replace Blaikie

April 8, 2024 — 

Transcona is typically a safe riding for the NDP, noted Christopher Adams, an adjunct professor in political studies at the University of Manitoba..

The open seat will likely draw many prominent NDP and Conservative players, Adams forecasted.

Lawrence Toet was MP for Elmwood-Transcona from 2011 to 2015. He lost to Blaikie in 2015 by 61 votes. Toet is again door-knocking in the area, said Adams, who lives in Transcona.

Even if Wyatt decides to try federal politics, there is no guarantee he’ll be nominated, Adams said. Card-carrying party members must vote for a candidate before they run for an election.

“Russ Wyatt represents what he wants to represent — he’s never toed a party line,” Adams said. “He really is a maverick.”

Political parties require their elected officials to follow the leader and policies of the group, Adams continued. During a federal election, speaking off script is a “liability.”

“Russ Wyatt — he’s been his own politician for so long, I just can’t see it happening, to be honest,” said Royce Koop, a University of Manitoba political studies professor. “He’s used to doing his own thing.”

Still, Wyatt is popular and draws people to the ballot box, both Adams and Koop said.

“If there’s an open nomination contest for either party, I would say he’s in a strong position to win it,” Koop said.

To read the full story, please visit Winnipeg Free Press.

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